IMF praises Myanmar reforms, sees economic growth at 7.5 per cent this fiscal year

YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar’s economy is on pace to grow 7.5 per cent this fiscal year, the International Monetary Fund said, praising the government for working to liberalize the foreign exchange market and boost central bank reserves.

It warned, however, that inflation is expected to surpass 6 per cent by March, when the current fiscal year ends, and could continue to rise.

Myanmar had one of the region’s strongest economies in the 1950s, but plunged into decline after a coup in 1962 instituted military rule with a socialist bent.

The country, also known as Burma, has undertaken political and economic reforms in the past three years and is trying to lure foreign investment, create jobs and improve infrastructure.

The IMF’s team leader for Myanmar, Matt Davies, said the country is undergoing an “exciting transition.”

“Risks to the outlook arise largely from limited macroeconomic management capacity and narrow cushions,” he said Tuesday in a statement after visiting the country.

The bank praised the government for floating its exchange rate, establishing central bank autonomy and significantly increasing spending on health and education.