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Associate Professor Sean Turnell provided comment to the Myanmar Times

Created: 16 Oct 2013

Sean Turnell

Publication: Myanmar Times
Title: World Bank revises GDP growth to 6.8%
Date: 13 October, 2013
Author: Philip Heijmans and Aye Thidar Kyaw

Excerpt: Sean Turnell, an expert in Myanmar’s economy at Australia’s Macquarie University, said the current inflation undermines the nation’s competitiveness as the misallocation of resources through arbitrary changes in price relativities put a dent in the real purchasing power of money, especially among those on fixed or low-wage incomes.

“The World Bank report sounds plausible in terms of a representative basket of consumer goods,” he said by email. “Prices in other areas, especially with respect to real estate, have risen much faster and higher of course,” he said.

On the other hand, the current US dollar exchange rate of K970 seems an “appropriate ballpark” that is not too low to invite inflation.

“It gives a boost to the competitiveness of Myanmar’s exports and import substitutes, while at the same time making the country a more attractive location for foreign investment,” he said.

For the moment there is probably not a lot the central bank could do about surging property prices, he said.

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