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Burma - Economy (Facts)
Economy - overview: Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficient economic policies, and rural poverty. The junta took steps in the early 1990s to liberalize the economy after decades of failure under the 'Burmese Way to Socialism,' but those efforts stalled, and some of the liberalization measures were rescinded. Lacking monetary or fiscal stability, the economy suffers from serious macroeconomic imbalances - including rising inflation, fiscal deficits, multiple official exchange rates that overvalue the Burmese kyat, a distorted interest rate regime, unreliable statistics, and an inability to reconcile national accounts to determine a realistic GDP figure. Most overseas development assistance ceased after the junta began to suppress the democracy movement in 1988 and subsequently refused to honor the results of the 1990 legislative elections. In response to the government of Burma's attack in May 2003 on AUNG SAN SUU KYI and her convoy, the US imposed new economic sanctions in August 2003 against Burma - including a ban on imports of Burmese products and a ban on provision of financial services by US persons. Further, a poor investment climate hampers attracting outside investment slowing the inflow of foreign exchange. The most productive sectors will continue to be in extractive industries, especially oil and gas, mining, and timber with the latter especially causing environmental degradation. Other areas, such as manufacturing and services, are struggling with inadequate infrastructure, unpredictable import/export policies, deteriorating health and education systems, and endemic corruption. A major banking crisis in 2003 shuttered the country's 20 private banks and disrupted the economy. As of 2006, the largest private banks operate under tight restrictions limiting the private sector's access to formal credit. Official statistics are inaccurate. Published statistics on foreign trade are greatly understated because of the size of the black market and unofficial border trade - often estimated to be as large as the official economy. Though the Burmese government has good economic relations with its neighbors, better investment and business climates and an improved political situation are needed to promote serious foreign investment, exports, and tourism.
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2006 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $85.2 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $9.6 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,800 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 50%
industry: 15%
services: 35% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line: 25% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 32.4% (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 21.4% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 28.49 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70%
industry: 7%
services: 23% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate: 10.2% (2006 est.)
Budget: revenues: $2.18 billion
expenditures: $2.36 billion; including capital expenditures of NA (2006 est.)
Industries: agricultural processing; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; cement, construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; natural gas; garments, jade and gems
Industrial production growth rate: NA
Electricity - production: 6.02 billion kWh (FY05/06)
Electricity - consumption: 5.325 billion kWh (FY05/06)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2006)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2006)
Oil - production: 9,500 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption: 20,460 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 5,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - imports: 19,180 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - proved reserves: less than 50 million bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas - production: 10.2 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 7.5 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane; hardwood; fish and fish products
Exports: $3.56 billion f.o.b.
note: official export figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of timber, gems, narcotics, rice
Exports - commodities: gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade and gems
Exports - partners: Thailand 48.4%, India 12.6%, China 5.2%, Japan 5.1% (2006)
Imports: $1.98 billion f.o.b.
note: import figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of consumer goods, diesel fuel, and other products smuggled in from Thailand, China, Malaysia, and India (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities: fabric, petroleum products, fertilizer, plastics, machinery, transport equipment; cement, construction materials, crude oil; food products, edible oil
Imports - partners: China 33.6%, Thailand 21.2%, Singapore 15.7%, Malaysia 4.6%, South Korea 4.1% (2006)
Debt - external: $7.162 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $127 million (2001 est.)
Currency: Myanmar Kyat (MMK)

Current Myanmar Kyat Exchange Rates
Historical Myanmar Kyat Exchange Rates
Chart Myanmar Kyat Exchange Rates
Currency code: MMK
Exchange rates: kyats per US dollar - 1,280 (2006), 5.761 (2005), 5.7459 (2004), 6.0764 (2003), 6.5734 (2002)
note: unofficial exchange rates ranged in 2004 from 815 kyat/US dollar to nearly 970 kyat/US dollar, and by yearend 2005, the unofficial exchange rate was 1,075 kyat/US dollar; data shown for 2002-05 are official exchange rates
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Myanmar Kyat Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.

Facts at a Glance
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Myanmar Kyat Exchange Rates

Notes and Commentary
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.

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