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Real GDP growth in the MENA region will be 3.2% for 2014 and 4.5% for 2015, according to the IMF’s six-monthly World Economic Outlook (WEO) released last week. The projection for 2014 growth is downgraded from the figure of 3.8% given six months ago by the IMF in its October WEO (MEES, 11 October 2013).
The latest WEO says that growth across the MENA region in 2013 was tepid, “as declines in oil production and weak private investment growth amid continued political transitions and conflict offset increases in public spending.”
But the IMF is optimistic about 2014-15, which will see a strengthening of economic activity, as export growth improves and public and private investment accelerates. At the same time many issues continue to weigh on economic prospects, such as weak confidence, high unemployment, low competitiveness, and in many cases large public deficits. But “risks are tilted to the downside [due to] slow progress in reforms during complex political transitions,” the IMF warns.
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