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World Economic and Financial Surveys

Regional Economic Outlook:
Middle East and Central Asia

October 2008

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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.

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Contents

Assumptions and Conventions
Highlights
Country and Regional Groupings
Recent Macroeconomic Developments
World Economic Developments and Outlook
MCD Region Economic Outlook
Policy Issues
Statistical Appendix
 
 
Boxes
1 Macroeconomic Implications of Higher Commodity Prices
2 Pass-Through of International Oil Prices in MCD Countries
3 GCC Financial Centers—From Regional to International Focus
4 Georgia—Program to Deal with the Consequences of the Conflict
5 Pakistan—Dealing with Rising Vulnerabilities
6 The Region's Oil Income Outlook
 
Figures
1 Global Real GDP Growth
2 Real GDP Growth in the MCD Region
3 Oil and Non-Oil Real GDP Growth in Selected Oil Exporters, 2008
4 Unemployment Rate
5a Consumer Price Inflation: Country Aggregates
5b Consumer Price Inflation: Individual Countries
6 Real Effective Exchange Rates
7 Nominal Effective Exchange Rates
8 External Current Account Balance
9 Net Foreign Direct Investment, 2008
10 Gross Official Reserves
11a Government Fiscal Balance: Country Aggregates
11b Government Fiscal Balance: Individual Countries
12 Total Government Debt
13 Nominal Growth Rate of Government Expenditure in Oil Exporters
14 Broad Money Growth
15 Money and Credit to the Private Sector in Low-Income Countries
16 Selected Stock Market Indicess
17 Sovereign Spread in Selected Countries
18 Global Outlook
19 Current Account Balance
 
Tables
1 Food, Fuel, and Headline Inflation
2 Wage Increases in MCD Countries (2007-08)
3 Capital Adequacy Ratio in MCD Countries
4 Selected Oil Exporters' Break-Even Prices for 2008 Fiscal Accounts
 
Statistical Appendix Tables
1 Real GDP Growth
2 Nominal GDP
3 GDP at Purchasing Power Parity Prices
4 Oil and Non-Oil Real GDP Growth for Oil Exporters
5 Crude Oil Production and Exports
6 Consumer Price Inflation
7 Broad Money Growth
8 Central Government Fiscal Balance
9 Central Government Total Revenue Excluding Grants
10 Oil Exporters: Central Government Non-Oil Fiscal Balance
11 Oil Exporters: Central Government Non-Oil Revenue
12 Central Government Total Expenditure and Net Lending
13 Total Government Debt
14 Exports of Goods and Services
15 Imports of Goods and Services
16 Current Account Balance (in billions of U.S. dollars)
17 Current Account Balance (in percent of GDP)
18 Real Effective Exchange Rates
19 Gross Official Reserves
20 Total Gross External Debt