Mideast, North Africa recovering at good pace: IMF

22:10, April 21, 2010      

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The Middle East and North Africa region is "recovering at a good pace" with an expected economic growth of 4.5 percent in 2010, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday.

"GDP in the Middle East and North Africa is projected to grow at 4.5 percent in 2010, edging up to 4.75 percent in 2011," said the IMF in its latest World Economic Outlook report.

"Pushing it forward are at least two forces. First, higher commodity prices and external demand are boosting production and exports in many economies in the region. Second, government spending programs are playing a key role in fostering the recovery," said the IMF.

According to the report, in the group of oil exporters, the strongest performer is Qatar, where real activity is projected to expand by 18.5 percent in 2010, underpinned by continued expansion in natural gas production and large investment expenditures.

In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, GDP is expected to grow at about 3.75 percent and 3 percent, respectively, this year supported in both cases by sizable government infrastructure investment. In the United Arab Emirates, growth in 2010 is projected to be subdued at 1.25 percent, with property-related sectors expected to contract further.

In the group of oil importers, Egypt's GDP is projected to grow 5 percent in 2010 and 5.5 percent in 2011, helped by stimulative fiscal and monetary policies. Morocco and Tunisia will continue to grow at rates of 3.25 to 4 percent in 2010 and 4.5 to 5 percent in 2011, assuming exports, tourism, remittances, and foreign direct investment continue to improve.

In the report, the IMF said "the global recovery has evolved better than expected, with activity recovering at varying speeds, tepidly in many advanced economies but solidly in most emerging and developing economies."

The world economy, which declined by 0.6 percent in 2009, will recover gradually in 2010 and 2011, growing by 4.2 percent and 4.3 percent respectively, said the IMF.

Source: Xinhua


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