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    Burma Index 2005

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    Burma Economy - 2005

      Economy - overview:
      Burma is a resource-rich country that suffers from government controls, inefficient economic policies, and abject 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the "Burmese Way to Socialism", but those efforts have since stalled and some of the liberalization measures have been rescinded. Burma has been unable to achieve monetary or fiscal stability, resulting in an economy that suffers from serious macroeconomic imbalances - including inflation and multiple official exchange rates that overvalue the Burmese kyat. In addition, most overseas development assistance ceased after the junta began to suppress the democracy movement in 1988 and subsequently ignored the results of the 1990 legislative elections. Economic sanctions against Burma by the United States - including a ban on imports of Burmese products and a ban on provision of financial services by US persons in response to the government of Burma's attack in May 2003 on AUNG SAN SUU KYI and her convoy - further slowed the inflow of foreign exchange. 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 one to two times the size of the official economy. Though the Burmese government has good economic relations with its neighbors, a better investment climate and an improved political situation are needed to promote foreign investment, exports, and tourism. In February 2003, a major banking crisis hit the country's 20 private banks, shutting them down and disrupting the economy. As of January 2004, the largest private banks remained moribund, leaving the private sector with little formal access to credit.

      purchasing power parity - $74.3 billion (2004 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate:
      -1.3% (2004 est.)

      GDP - per capita:
      purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2004 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 56.6%
      industry: 8.8%
      services: 34.5% (2004 est.)

      Labor force:
      27.01 million (2004 est.)

      Labor force - by occupation:
      agriculture 70%, industry 7%, services 23% (2001 est.)

      Unemployment rate:
      5.2% (2004 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):
      17.2% (2004 est.)

      Investment (gross fixed):
      10.2% of GDP (2004 est.)

      revenues: $474.9 million
      expenditures: $955.5 million, including capital expenditures of $5.7 billion (2004 est.)

      Agriculture - products:
      rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane; hardwood; fish and fish products

      agricultural processing; knit and woven apparel; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; cement

      Industrial production growth rate:

      Electricity - production:
      5.068 billion kWh (2003)

      Electricity - consumption:
      3.484 billion kWh (2003)

      Electricity - exports:
      0 kWh (2002)

      Electricity - imports:
      0 kWh (2004)

      Oil - production:
      17,550 bbl/day (2003 est.)

      Oil - consumption:
      60,950 bbl/day (2003 est.)

      Oil - exports:
      3,356 bbl/day (2003)

      Oil - imports:
      49,230 bbl/day (2003)

      Oil - proved reserves:
      3.2 billion bbl (2003)

      Natural gas - production:
      9.98 billion cu m (2003 est.)

      Natural gas - consumption:
      1.569 billion cu m (2003 est.)

      Natural gas - exports:
      8.424 billion cu m (2003 est.)

      Natural gas - imports:
      0 cu m (2003 est.)

      Natural gas - proved reserves:
      2.46 trillion cu m (2003)

      Current account balance:
      $-185 million (2004 est.)

      $2.137 billion f.o.b.
      note: official export figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of timber, gems, narcotics, rice, and other products smuggled to Thailand, China, and Bangladesh (2004 est.)

      Exports - commodities:
      clothing, gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice

      Exports - partners:
      Thailand 37%, India 14%, China 6.2%, Japan 5.1%, UK 4% (2004)

      $1.754 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 (2004 est.)

      Imports - commodities:
      fabric, petroleum products, plastics, machinery, transport equipment, construction materials, crude oil; food products

      Imports - partners:
      China 28.3%, Singapore 20.6%, Thailand 19.1%, South Korea 6.2%, Malaysia 4.7% (2004)

      Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
      $590 million (2004 est.)

      Debt - external:
      $6.752 billion (2004 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient:
      $127 million (2001 est.)

      Currency (code):
      kyat (MMK)

      Exchange rates:
      kyats per US dollar - 5.7459 (2004), 6.0764 (2003), 6.5734 (2002), 6.6841 (2001), 6.4257 (2000)
      note: these are official exchange rates; unofficial exchange rates ranged in 2004 from 815 kyat/US dollar to nearly 970 kyat/US dollar

      Fiscal year:
      1 April - 31 March

      NOTE: The information regarding Burma on this page is re-published from the 2005 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Burma Economy 2005 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Burma Economy 2005 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 16-Feb-06
    Copyright © 2005 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)