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Third Quarterly Myanmar Economic Confidence Index

Myanmar Insider presented the results of our third quarterly economic confidence survey and the resulting index to public last month comparing with the previous quarters. The respondents are businessmen & CEOs that actually employ tens to thousands of people in Myanmar. The objective is to provide information on business environment in Myanmar for all stakeholders, especially the government, the investors and the business people.

The followings are our findings:

  1.  More than 65% of survey respondents regards the economy as bad in Q2 of 2018. But looking from the good side, it is an improvement from previous quarter, where 80% view the economy as bad.
  2.  For the forecast on the current quarter, more than 50% of those surveyed expect the economy to get worse or a lot worse, with 44% expecting the economy to get a little better in Q3 of 2018.
  3. Regarding confidence on their own companies, the confidence levels have gone down in Q2 of 2018 (survey quarter) i.e., more business people are having lesser confidence on the prospects of their own companies.
  4. In terms of investments, more people are becoming more decisive now than the previous two quarters, with 50% of the respondents saying they are unlikely to invest more into their companies and businesses in this quarter.
  5.  Concerning forecasts for economic growth, inflation and exchange rate, all are heading south, with inflation faring the worst. 85% of the respondents expects higher inflation in this quarter.
  6.  Based on the result of each business confidence related q u e s t i o n , t h e Q u a r t e r l y Economic Confidence Index was negative 23 points, which means most businessmen were quite negative on the economic prospects in the country. We now have three consecutive quarters of negative economic confidence in Myanmar.
  7.  For the usual question on democracy vs. prosperity, it has to be highlighted that no one has chosen democracy as definitely more important than prosperity in this survey. People may be starting to see the fruits of a badly managed democracy right now.
  8.  In this survey, we have added a very culturally sensitive question of a debt level in your business. Even though we were not sure if all respondents have been completely truthful about their debts, it seems the debt situation in the country still seems manageable.
  9.  Finally, the number of business people advising others not to invest in the country now has actually gone up with three quarters of them being against making further investments in Myanmar.