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Quarterly Economic Confidence Index

Economic Confidence is an indicator that measures the amount of optimism or pessimism that business managers feel about the prospects of their companies or organizations. It also provides an overview of the state of the economy. Myanmar Insider decided to create this index because unlike most economies, Myanmar does not have an index that measures economic sentiment independently within the country.

The objective is to provide information on business environment in Myanmar for all stakeholders, especially the government, the investors and the business people. We surveyed 50+ businessmen & CEOs that actually employs tens to thousands of people  in Myanmar in September. Our survey questions were divided into business confidence related questions and individual business related questions. The salient results of the survey were as follows:

  1.  About 80% of respondents described the current economic situation is somewhat bad or very bad and only 19% chose the answer of somewhat good.
  2. For the business environment for the next quarter, most of the people (about 58%) expected the business environment to get worse and 42% perceived to get better.
  3.  Regarding the confidence on individual company’s prospect for the next quarter, most of the respondents were confident even though the economic prospects were bad.
  4.  In terms of opportunities and threats, most of the survey respondents said that threats are more now than one year ago.
  5. The survey also highlighted that most of them are unsure towards the investing more or slightly more in the coming quarter.
  6.   In terms of forecast for economic growth, inflation and exchange rate, most of the survey respondents expected all these three to get worse. Nearly 70% of respondents expected the economic growth to be worsened; nearly 80% expected more inflation and nearly 70% expected Myanmar Kyats to depreciate in coming quarter.
  7.  Based on the result of each business confidence related question, the Quarterly Economic Confidence Index was calculated as negative 14 points, which means most businessmen were quite negative on the economic prospects for October, November and December.
  8.  Most of the survey respondents (nearly 58%) are most concerned with cost of doing business; including taxes and they thought this will impact on their business prospects.
  9. Concerning the choices between democratic system of government and a prosperous economy, more than 80% said that having a prosperity economy is more important than having a democratic system of government.
  10.  As the last question, we asked the respondents to rate the current NLD g o v e r n m e n t m a n a g e m e n t and previous U Thein Sein g o v e r n m e n t management of the economy. The outcomes of this question are: 12% rated NLD g o v e r n m e n t management as good and 58% rated as bad, w h e r e a s , f o r U Thein Sein g o v e r n m e n t management, 46% rated as good and 19% rated as bad. This article provides the insight of the perception of businessmen in Myanmar. Even though Aung San Suu Kyi public -ly stated that Myanmar’s economy was growing rapidly at ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 (ABIS) held in Manila, Philippines, the survey highlighted the real state of affairs of the business environment in Myanmar.