Most economies hit by the Arab Spring uprisings will recover slowly next year, grappling with high inflation and rising unemployment due to poor global conditions, the International Monetary Fund predicted in a report on Sunday.
In its twice-yearly outlook for the Middle East and North Africa, the global lender said a partial return of political stability could permit somewhat faster growth in the combined output of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen during 2013.
But weak demand in Europe and other regions will weigh on the Arab Spring states, it said. In many of those countries, exports are shrinking and have not yet bottomed out, it added.
“Growth is expected to remain below long-term trends, and unemployment is expected to increase owing to continued anaemic external demand, high food and fuel commodity prices, regional tensions and policy uncertainty.”
Reuters reports that the IMF forecast gross domestic product in the countries excluding Libya would expand by 3.6 per cent next year, accelerating from an estimated 2.0 per cent this year and 1.2 per cent in 2011. In 2010, the year before the uprisings, GDP grew by 4.7 per cent.
Because of sluggish global demand, the group’s current account balance of trade in goods and services will improve only marginally next year, to a deficit of 4.6 per cent of GDP from this year’s 5.4 per cent deficit, the IMF predicted.
It suggested some countries should consider allowing greater flexibility in their exchange rates – code for permitting their currencies to depreciate – in order to stimulate exports, but did not specify which countries.
Weaker currencies could fuel inflation, which the IMF forecast would rise to 8.6 percent for the group next year, the highest level since 2008, from 7.8 per cent this year.
Inflation is expected to rise in Egypt and Morocco as they try to curb their large budget deficits by scaling back food and fuel subsidies, the IMF said.
Libya, which ousted its dictator Muammar Gaddafi last year, is a spectacular exception to the pattern of slow recovery because of its oil wealth. Oil output is returning to its pre-civil war level faster than expected.
The country’s GDP shrank by 60 per cent last year but is expected to rise by 122 per cent this year, 17 per cent in 2013 and seven per cent annually on average between 2014 and 2017, assuming the domestic security situation improves, the IMF predicted.
It forecast Libya would run a huge state budget surplus of 19 per cent of GDP in 2012, and a current account surplus of 22 per cent.
Headlines Newsview all
President Buhari Begs Niger Delta Militants : Please Stop Pipeline Bombings, I Plead In The Name Of God Almighty
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday pleaded with Niger Delta militants to soft pedal on the bombing and destruction of oil and gas installations. He asked those close ...
U.S. officials have “solid evidence” of the alleged misconduct Ambassador James Entwistle reported to House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, high-level diplomatic sources say. In a ... Full story
Rate this article
- Horror: Hoodlums Stab Okada Man On His Head In Broad Daylight And Make Away With His Bike
- Policeman Allegedly Assaults Popular Nollywood Actress In Lagos (Photos)
- Woman Flees Her Home With Her Kids Over Husband's Family Forced Circumcision Threats
The actress and TV presenter took to Instagram to narrate the unfortunate incident and to show proof of her injury sustained in the ugly encounter: "On ... Full story
Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland scored arguably the best goal of the 2016 EURO's after his fantastic bicycle kick goal drew Switzerland level with Poland ...
The eagerly-anticipated clash between Wales and Northern Ireland is the first time two home nations have met in the knockout stages of a major tournament. It ...
Arsenal may have to do without Alex Iwobi for the start of the new Premier League season after the midfielder was included in the provisional ...
– Tiwa Savage, the entertainer whose career is perfectly modelled on resilience, talent and media savviness – The Nigerian pop star is currently arguably Africa’s biggest female ...
ITV dating show, Love Island left viewers in shock as two housemates - Malin and Terry - slept with themselves openly in front of fellow housemates ...
Nollywood actress, Stella Damasus blushed like a newly crowned princess after famous celebrity and former wrestler Dwayne Johnson showed some love on her by replying ... Full story
West Ham have made a €35m bid for Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi, according to reports. The Hammers' offer was worth around £28.25m at 9am on Friday ...
Paul Okoye's signing, Lucy, continued her radio tour after her new banging song which featured reggae artiste, Cynthia Morgan. The singer was recently at Rhythm FM, ... Full story
Popular veteran actress, Patience Ozokwor, who recently turned a born-again christain, has been pictured recently ministering to a congregation at an Anglican Church in the ... Full story