Myanmar Economic DataBurma Economic Data
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Myanmar's economic output based on timelines
Timeline data for the audit covers the entire period after Myanmar's Independence - 57 years, from the 1948 period of Myanmar's independency to the 2005/06 financial year, the last year for which data were available. To simplify the representation, the data are listed in the appendix tables 4.3-4. 8, each comprising a decade: the 1950', 1960', 1970', 1980', 1990' and the first century of the new millenium.
The sustainable double-digit increase in actual gross domestic product began in the 1999/2000 financial year and lasted seven years to 2005 (and could last for several more years). This continuing double-digit increase marks a major rupture from the country's overall post-independence history, which spans half a centurys.
Up to 1999/2000, the beginning of the new millenium, there had never been double-digit actual GNP increases over two years. In the 50 years since the country's liberation, there have been five cases of double-digit GNP growth: twice in the 1950s (1950 and 1956) and three time in the 60s (1962, 1964 and 1967).
All of these cases, a double-digit year of economic expansion has always been immediately before or immediately after a year of economic downturn. The 12.9 percent increase in 1950 was preceeded by a 10 percent drop in actual GNP in 1948 and a further 5 percent drop in 1949.
Similarly, 13 percent increase in 1962 was followed by a decrease of 6. 1 percent in 1963. There was not a two-figure increase in doubledigit actual GNP on any one occasion three years before the 1999/2000 financial year. SUMMARY 1 summarizes how Myanmar's actual gross domestic product grew and GDP/GDP ratios have shifted over the last five centuries and the first years of the new millenium.
1, we can say that Myanmar was not a least prosperous nation in the 1950' and with a GDI/GDP share of 19 percent reached an approximate 6 percent compound year on year increase . Over the next two centuries (1960s and 1970s), the economies worsened as a result of commanding economic governance under armed forces, self-imposed economic segregation and Burma's "road to socialism".
In economic terms, the 1980s were the most difficult years in Myanmar's post-independence past. Even though the ten-year began well with growth in the range of 5 to 8 percent in terms of actual gross domestic product and a GDI/GDP rate of 21 to 22 percent, the good start was marked by policy turbulence and unrest in the second half of the ten-year period.
GDP grew by an average of only 1.9 percent per year for the entire ten-year figure - slightly below the 2 percent increase in populations. However, the GDI/GDP rate stayed relatively high during this time, at an average of 16 per cent per year (Annex 4.7). It was also remembered that in 1987 Myanmar requested and obtained the United Nations Least Development Region designation and in 1988 a new government came to rule that gave up the "Burmese way to socialism" and adopted a "market-oriented" attitude to make the Burma a "modern advanced nation".
It could be argued that economic reform in the first half of the 90s allowed the economy to grow by a remarkable 6 percent in this ten-year period. However, this improved perfomance was reached with a relatively stagnating GDI/GDP rate of around 13 percent. So what conclusions can be made about Myanmar's growing history from 1948 to the end of the nineties?
To be unfriendly, we can say that Myanmar is a subistence agriculture based on a few raw materials, with a pre-industrial economic fabric that has no cushioning effect to mitigate the effects of internal and external incidents. National and man-made catastrophes, resulting from the abundance of resources and the raw material boom resulting from the Korean War, largely shaped the economic situation and not GDI/GDP ratios.
However, such unfriendly opinions can no longer compete with the government's data on Myanmar's economic output in the new millenium. When the Bible says it was possible for a country's economies to have seven consecutive years of enjoyment and then seven consecutive years of suffering. In Myanmar, the fact that actual GNP grew twice from 6 percent in the 1990s to 12 percent at the beginning of the new millenium and that double-digit expansion continued for seven years, while the GDI/GDP rate dropped to 11-12 percent, merits explain.
As far as policy is concerned, the country's powerful forces have a strong focus on high levels of GNP development, indicating the country's increasing wealth and well being. As a result, these figures have become heavily politicized, losing credence and reason. The arithmetical, socio-economic indices for the economy are normally given as a percentage of GNP.
So it is not astonishing that an exceptionally high level of genuine GDI GGDP increase, as shown in the government' s economic accounts, has resulted in a decline in the GDI/GDP share in the new millenium. It also explains the pathetic low export/GDP ratios and the value added of industry as a percentage of GNP, as well as many other socio-economic indices that are embarassingly far below these indices in other parts of the area.
That was not always the case in Myanmar's post-independence past. This is the export to gross domestic product balance for the 1950', when the economy was not yet suffering from political influences. The average rate was 22. This was 6 percent per year for this decennium, which was the same for every nation in the rest of the global economy that was in a similar economic climate to Myanmar at the timeframe.
Burma Administration, Economic Report of Burma, 1955, 1959 and 1963.