The Economy of Burma (Myanmar)

Economic Development
According to the World Bank, the Gross Domestic Product of Burma (Myanmar) was 65.57 billion USD in 2014, rank 68 globally. The GDP per capita was 1203.84 USD positioning Burma (Myanmar) at rank number 148 in the world in terms of economic development.

However, GDP per capita in USD may not correctly reflect the real incomes in a country. Many countries with high income also have high prices and, similarly, many countries with low income have low prices. The purchasing power parity (PPP) income accounts for such differences in prices so we can answer the question: "What would be the income in Burma (Myanmar) if its citizens paid U.S. prices?" World Bank data from 2014 show that GDP per capita in Burma (Myanmar) in PPP terms was 4635 USD which places Burma (Myanmar) at rank 131 in the world.

Yet, others argue that GDP per capita in USD or in PPP terms may be an incomplete measure of social welfare. For a more comprehensive indicator, we could look at the Human Development Index developed by the United Nations. The HDI ranges from 0 (low development) to 1 (high development) and reflects income as well as life expectancy and education. The value of the Human Development Index for Burma (Myanmar) in 2014 is 0.536, rank 146 in the world.
Global rank
GDP, billion USD 65.57 68 2014
GDP per capita, USD 1203.84 148 2014
GDP per capita, PPP, USD 4635 131 2014
Human Development Index 0.536 146 2014

International Trade and Investment
The trade balance of Burma (Myanmar), i.e. the value of exports minus imports, is -2.08 percent of GDP. Note that a negative number means a trade deficit and a positive number means a trade surplus. An even more useful indicator is the Current Account balance which includes the trade balance as well as income received or sent by the country and gifts and foreign aid. The value for Burma (Myanmar) is -2.55 percent of GDP. Current account deficits greater than about 4 percent of GDP for many years are typically not sustainable. They have to be financed by new international debt every year leading to high levels of indebtedness and currency crises.

We can look at the international competitiveness of Burma (Myanmar) using the Competitiveness index of the World Trade Organization. The index ranks countries on a 1 - 7 scale and reflects the stability of a country, its health, education, market efficiency, financial market sophistication, technological readiness, market size, and innovation. For that indicator, Burma (Myanmar) is at rank 135 in the world with a value of 3.24 points.

Foreign direct investment into Burma (Myanmar) was 1.40 billion USD in 2014 which is 2.17 percent of GDP. We look primarily at the percent of GDP as opposed to the dollar amounts because larger economies would normally attract greater volumes of foreign investment. Values above 4-5 percent of GDP suggest that the country is an attractive foreign investment destination.

Global rank
Trade balance, percent of GDP -2.08 77 2014
Current account balance, percent of GDP -2.55 73 2014
Competitiveness index, 1 (low) - 7 (high) 3.24 135 2014
Foreign Direct Investment, percent of GDP 2.17 108 2014
Foreign Direct Investment, billion USD 1.40 80 2014

Financial System
The development of the banking system, a key part of the financial system of any country, is reflected in the level of credit to the private sector as percent of GDP. Credit allows firms to expand their production and to improve their technology. It also allows households to spread large expenses over time such as for a house, vehicles or education. The average value for the world for that indicator is about 45 percent of GDP. Values below 15 percent of GDP are considered very low whereas values in excess of 100 percent of GDP bring no additional benefit to the economy. According to the International Monetary Fund, the value of that indicator for Burma (Myanmar) is 16.01 percent, rank 140 in the world.

In terms of access to banking services, we can look at the number of ATMs per 100,000 people, an indicator in the IMF's database on financial development. For Burma (Myanmar), the IMF reports 1.56 ATMs per 100,000 people which places Burma (Myanmar) at rank 145 globally.

Global rank
Bank credit to the private sector, percent of GDP 16.01 140 2014
ATMs per 100,000 people 1.56 145 2014

Rule of Law
The World Bank publishes a very useful index called "Rule of Law" that captures perceptions of the extent to which people in Burma (Myanmar) and other countries have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence. The index has been compiled for many years and is comparable across countries. You can click on the link to it in the table and explore its trends for Burma (Myanmar) over time as well as its components. It ranges from -2.5 (weak rule of law) to 2.5 (strong rule of law). The rule of law in Burma (Myanmar) is scored at -1.17 in 2015, rank 175 globally.

Transparency International is an NGO that has tracked the perceptions of corruption in many countries for many years. For each country, they collect data from multiple surveys and produce a composite measure: the "Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index." The index ranges from 0 (pervasive corruption) to 100 (no corruption). Based on 2015 data, the value of that indicator for Burma (Myanmar) is 22 which places Burma (Myanmar) at position 145 in the world.

The "Civil Liberties" index published annually by the Freedom House measures the freedom of expression and belief, associational and organizational rights, rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights. The range is from 1 (strong civil rights) to 7 (weak civil rights). On that count, the score for Burma (Myanmar) in 2014 was 6.
Global rank
Rule of law, -2.5 (weak) - 2.5 (strong) -1.17 175 2014
Corruption Perceptions Index, 0 (high corruption) - 100 (low corruption) 22 145 2015
Civil Liberties, 1 (strong) - 7(weak) 6 See world ranking 2014

Main economic indicators
Shares of world totals
International transactions
Labor force
Infrastructure and transport
Energy and environment
Financial system
Governance and political system
Economic freedom
Country risk
Industry: Oil, coal, and electricity
Oil reserves, billion barrels
Oil production, thousand barrels per day
Gasoline production, thousand barrels per day
Jet fuel production, thousand barrels per day
Liquefied petroleum gas production, thousand barrels per day
Oil consumption, thousand barrels per day
Gasoline consumption, thousand barrels per day
Jet fuel consumption, thousand barrels per day
Liquefied petroleum gas consumption, thousand barrels per day
Coal production, thousand short tons
Coal consumption, thousand short tons
Coal imports, thousand short tons
Electricity production, billion kilowatthours
Hydroelectricity generation, billion kilowatthours
Electricity consumption, billion kilowatthours
Electricity production capacity, million kilowatts
Renewable power generation, billion kilowatthours
Renewable power consumption, billion kilowatthours
Other indicators
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