Middle East and Central Asia

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2012

2011

April 27, 2011

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, October 2010 -- Table of Contents

Description: The October 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia reports on the regional implications of the global economic recovery and presents key policy challenges and recommendations. With the rebound in crude oil prices and production, the oil-exporting countries of the Middle East and North Africa will see visible improvements in their fiscal and external balances in 2010–11. Going forward, further efforts at financial sector development and economic diversification top the agenda. The region’s oil-importing countries, which include Afghanistan and Pakistan, have weathered the global recession well. Pakistan, however, suffered from devastating floods in July/August, which will hold back growth this year. The overriding longer-term challenges for these countries are to raise growth and provide jobs for expanding populations. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, recovery has gained momentum in virtually all countries, aided by the lagged effect of fiscal stimulus and a favorable external environment. Exports are picking up, and remittances are rebounding, though at a slowing pace. Despite the broadly positive outlook, however, risks are largely on the downside. A priority is to resolve banking sector problems and, in some countries, to reduce external debt and current account deficits.

2010

October 24, 2010

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, October 2010 -- Table of Contents

Description: The October 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia reports on the regional implications of the global economic recovery and presents key policy challenges and recommendations. With the rebound in crude oil prices and production, the oil-exporting countries of the Middle East and North Africa will see visible improvements in their fiscal and external balances in 2010–11. Going forward, further efforts at financial sector development and economic diversification top the agenda. The region’s oil-importing countries, which include Afghanistan and Pakistan, have weathered the global recession well. Pakistan, however, suffered from devastating floods in July/August, which will hold back growth this year. The overriding longer-term challenges for these countries are to raise growth and provide jobs for expanding populations. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, recovery has gained momentum in virtually all countries, aided by the lagged effect of fiscal stimulus and a favorable external environment. Exports are picking up, and remittances are rebounding, though at a slowing pace. Despite the broadly positive outlook, however, risks are largely on the downside. A priority is to resolve banking sector problems and, in some countries, to reduce external debt and current account deficits.

May 25, 2010

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, May 2010 -- Table of Contents

Description: The May 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia reports on the implications for the region of global economic developments and presents key policy challenges and recommendations. A resumption of capital inflows and the rebound in crude oil prices have aided the recovery in the oil-exporting countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The group of oil-importing countries is expected to show marginal increase in growth in response to a pickup in trade, investment, and bank credit. A key challenge for these countries is to enhance competitiveness to raise growth rates and generate employment. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, exports have begun to pick up, the decline in remittances appears to be slowing or reversing, and capital inflows have turned positive. For 2010, a recovery across the region is projected as the global economy, and in particular Russia, picks up speed. Overall, prospects for the region are improving and the regional impact of the Dubai crisis and events in Greece has been limited so far. Nevertheless, a repricing of sovereign debt cannot be excluded, adding a degree of uncertainty to the outlook.

2009

October 11, 2009

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, October 2009 -- Table of Contents

Description: The global economic crisis has taken a toll on the Middle East and Central Asia region, but appropriate policy responses have helped mitigate the impact. Looking ahead, the region’s oil exporters are expected to benefit from rising oil prices as the world economy begins to pull out of an unparalleled post-World War II recession. Oil importers, however, are likely to continue to face continued headwinds that may delay an uptake in growth. Where feasible, countries should continue to support domestic demand to lessen the impact of the crisis on the poor while maintaining a focus on debt sustainability. For the region’s low-income countries, higher donor support will be needed to maintain economic development. Across the region, governments should further strengthen financial systems and be careful not to lose momentum on structural reforms. Published biannually in May and October.

2008

October 20, 2008

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, October 2008 -- Table of Contents

Description: Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia underlines that the region has continued to experience strong growth in 2008, and the short-term outlook is generally favorable. However, inflation has emerged as a key issue, and while the global credit crunch has thus far had a limited impact on regional financial markets, the financial turmoil and slowdown in developed economies could lower growth in the period ahead. Policies will need to focus on tightening the fiscal and monetary stance where appropriate, with greater exchange rate flexibility, and continuing efforts to strengthen the resilience of financial sectors.

May 12, 2008

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, May 2008 -- Table of Contents

Description: The Middle East and Central Asia region grew at 6.5 percent in 2007, marking its best five-year performance over the past 30 years. So far, the turmoil in international financial markets has had a limited impact on the region, and the short-term outlook remains very favorable. The report reviews recent economic developments, assesses the outlook for the coming year, and discusses key policy challenges. In addition, it takes a closer look at both regional topics--such as the rise in inflation in the GCC countries, intraregional capital flows, developments in oil markets, developments in real estate prices, and sovereign wealth funds--and country reviews for Algeria, Georgia, Iraq, and West Bank and Gaza.

2007

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