Wednesday 19 June 2024

Higher oil prices and a slower pace of fiscal consolidation
are supporting a positive outlook, says the report.

GCC growth likely to reach 3pc in 2019: IMF

DUBAI, November 14, 2018

Real GDP growth is predicted to reach 2.7 per cent across the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (Menap) region and 3 per cent in the GCC in 2019, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fall 2018 Regional Economic Outlook (REO) report.

 In the near term, higher oil prices and a slower pace of fiscal consolidation are supporting a positive outlook for most oil exporting countries, reported Emirates news agency Wam, citing the report.

The report, launched by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region (MEASA), recommends that Menap countries prioritise growth-enhancing and high-quality investment in infrastructure and human capital, while sustaining well-targeted social spending to promote equity and opportunities for all.

In addition, the report highlights the importance of promoting private sector-led growth by strengthening governance and accountability, improving education, enhancing labour market flexibility in the GCC, and deepening financial markets.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority, said: "The region’s economic outlook continues to point to accelerating near-term growth and the findings of the latest report show that challenging times offer the greatest opportunities. DIFC also remains committed to being a hub for financial services talent and providing the region’s best infrastructure for our clients – two areas that are highlighted as a priority in the latest IMF Report.

“Through our strategic partnership with the IMF, we unlock significant insights into economic trends in MEASA and beyond that allow us to remain ahead of emerging trends and challenges, and help facilitate long-term sustainable growth across this important market."

Jihad Azour, director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, said: “The changing global economic environment is bringing new challenges for the region. Near-term prospects for oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa region have improved modestly on the back of higher oil prices and a slower pace of fiscal consolidation.”

“Growth in oil importers is uneven, with rising oil prices adding to fiscal pressures in many countries. Risks from escalating global trade tensions, further tightening of financial conditions, the oil price trajectory, and geopolitical developments cloud the outlook. Fiscal and structural reforms to increase resilience and promote private sector growth need to be sustained and even accelerated if the region is to become a place where all citizens have the equal opportunity to build a more prosperous future. The IMF stands ready to assist in this journey through policy advice as well as technical and financial assistance,” Azour added.

The twice-yearly IMF Regional Economic Outlook report details trends and developments across countries of Menap and the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA). The report’s sectoral indicators are widely used as a benchmark for future economic projections and set the tone for growth, trade and investment.

Tags: DIFC | GCC | IMF | Menap | Real GDP |

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