IMF: negative forecast for Middle East and North Africa

2013 growth rate revised down; uncertainty for future

19 November, 17:24

    International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - The coming future appears far from rosy for countries in the so-called 'Menap area' including the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, according to the latest regional survey recently published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The medium-term outlook has weakened, the survey said, adding that the growth rate is expected to go down 2.25% this year, from the earlier estimate of -1.5% released in May.
    The growth rate was revised down over the area's political instability and weaker global oil demand.
    The report said that difficult political transitions and uncertainty from the civil conflict in Syria, together with ongoing developments in Egypt, are weighing on the confidence of oil importer countries. At the same time, suspensions and disruptions in domestic oil provision and weaker global demand have reduced the production of crude oil in spite of a recent price hike due to growing geo-political risks.
    According to IMF analysts, growth in the region could resume in 2014 after the international economy generally improves and oil production gains pace. However the study warned about the risks weighing on this forecast and, even more cause for concern, the growth rate which will remain below the level necessary to cut down unemployment and improve living conditions in the area.
    Politics can be the only solution to avoid the danger of falling into a vicious circle of economic stagnation and social conflict, the report said, noting that a strategy was urgently necessary to boost confidence, growth and employment. (ANSAmed).

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