IMF Downgrades MENA, Global 2014-15 Growth Projections

The IMF has downgraded its projections for global growth this year and next. The MENA region, hit by war, instability, and falling oil prices, sees the biggest downgrade of all.

Real GDP growth in the MENA region is projected at 2.6% in 2014 and 3.8% in 2015, a downgrade 0.5 and 1.0 percentage points respectively from the projections announced in July, according to the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) released last week. In April 2014 the IMF also lowered its growth projections from October 2013 (MEES, 18 April).

The latest WEO says that economic activity in the MENA region is projected to pick up in 2014-15, but that the recovery is fragile. It adds that political transitions in many countries and security problems, including the intensified conflict in Iraq, pose downside risks. Also many countries need to cut spending “to rebuild buffers against unexpected shocks and preserve wealth for future generations,” whilst structural reforms are needed to achieve sustained growth in the medium term. (CONTINUED - 560 WORDS)