Middle East: Arab Spring to cost USD 800 bln, HSBC's report

14 October, 12:27

    Rally in Tahrir square Rally in Tahrir square

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, OCTOBER 14 - The Arab Spring uprisings will end up costing Middle Eastern economies about USD 800 billion in lost output by the end of next year as countries struggle to restore stability, daily Hurriyet reports quoting an estimate by banking giant HSBC. In a research report, HSBC predicted that at the end of 2014, gross domestic product in the seven hardest-hit countries - Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Bahrain - would be 35% lower than it would have been if the 2011 uprisings had not happened. "The combination of a severe fiscal deterioration, and a decline in government effectiveness, security and the rule of law will weigh heavily on policymakers' efforts, even to bring employment back to pre-revolution levels," it said. HSBC forecast GDP growth in the Middle East and North Africa would slow to 4% this year, reviving only slightly to 4.2% next year, from 4.5% last year and 4.9% in 2011. Egypt, for example, is expected to grow just 2.2% this year and 3% next year as it faces heavy pressures on its state budget and external accounts - growth rates which many analysts believe are too low to cut its unemployment.


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