The manufacturing and construction sector in Myanmar face downturn since April as a result of COVID-19.
Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) plummeted to 29.0 in April from 45.3 in March according to a survey from IHS Markit. The PMI is a composite single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance. It is derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases. Any figure greater than 50.0 indicates overall improvement of the sector.
"Regarding new work, around 80 pc of the survey panel reported declines in April. Of the 10 pc reporting growth, manufacturers mainly linked this to panic buying of food" said, Mr Trevor Balchin, Economics Director at IHS Markit.
Construction work in Yangon is at standstill since April and has not fully recommenced as workers have been delayed in returning to Yangon from their hometowns due to irregular bus and train schedules. Employers and the authorities have also been vague about instructions to resume work amid COVID-19.
"Even after the virus spread is contained and businesses start operating as usual again, it would take around two years for the construction sector to recover," said Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association’s Central Executive Committee Member U Kyaw Kyaw Soe.