In its recently released Regional Economic Outlook Update report, the IMF said, ‘Economic growth in oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa bottomed out in 2017 and is expected to accelerate in 2018–2019. This largely reflects the continued recovery in non-oil activity as many countries are slowing the pace of fiscal consolidation in support of domestic demand’.
While updating the growth outlook for oil exporting countries in the GCC, the IMF said, ‘Economic activity is projected to accelerate in 2018–2019, but to remain low relative to pre-2014 levels over the medium term. Specifically, overall growth is projected at 2.8 per cent this year and 3.3 per cent in 2019.’
In its previous estimates released in October 2017 the IMF had projected three per cent growth for the GCC region in 2018 and 2.7 per cent growth for 2019.
‘The rise in the GCC growth is not only due to a resurgence of oil prices but also due to improvement of government finances through reduction of subsidies’, the fund said.
The IMF called for acceleration of economic reforms in the region and warned about the uncertainty in oil prices.