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World Economic and Financial Surveys

Regional Economic Outlook:
Middle East and Central Asia

May 2009

Ordering Information

The global crisis is now affecting the countries in the Middle East and Central Asia region, and economic and financial vulnerabilities are rising. In the Middle East and North Africa, good economic fundamentals, appropriate policy responses, and sizable currency reserves are helping mitigate the impact of the shock. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, lower commodity prices and adverse economic developments in Russia have hit hard. The report notes that countries should prepare for the contingency of a prolonged global slowdown by supporting domestic demand for a longer period and strengthening financial systems further. In some countries with rising unemployment, it will be important to target government resources and policies on protecting the poor; in others, increased donor support will be necessary to maintain needed economic development.

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Assumptions and Conventions
Country and Regional Groupings
Executive Summary
I. Middle Eastern Oil Exporters: Continued Spending Supports the Global Economy
II. Middle Eastern Oil Importers: Delayed Slowdown Under Way
III. The Caucasus and Central Asia: A Bumpy Road Ahead?
Statistical Appendix
1 World Economic Outlook
2 Middle Eastern Oil Exporters’ Sovereign Wealth Funds: Impact and Implications of the Global Crisis
3 Linkages and Spillovers with the GCC Region and with Europe
4 How Important Are Different Forms of Foreign Inflows to Middle Eastern Oil Importers?
5 How Russia Affects the Neighborhood: Trade, Financial, and Remittance Channels
6 Exchange Rate Policies: Coping with New Challenges in Caucasus and Central Asia Countries
1 Credit Default Swaps
2 Real Estate Price Index
3 MEOEs: Change in Stock Market Indices
4 MEOEs: Current Account Balance
5 MEOEs: Government Fiscal Balance
6 Imports of Goods and Services
7 MEOIs: Change in Stock Market Indices
8 Sovereign Bond Spreads
9 MEOIs: Real GDP Growth
10 Consumer Price Inflation
11 Effective Exchange Rates
12 MEOIs: Current Account Balance
13 MEOIs: Government Fiscal Balance
14 CCA: Real GDP Growth
15 Trade Patterns in the CCA, 2008
16 Remittance Inflows
17 Remittance Outflows from Russia
18 Remittance Receipts
19 CCA: Government Fiscal Balance
20 CCA: Current Account Balance
21 Average Inflation, GDP-Weighted
22 Private External Debt, 2008
23 Credit Growth
24 Nonperforming Loans
25 Capital Adequacy Ratios
26 Existing House Prices
27 Foreign Exchange Share of Loans and Deposits, End-2008
28 CCA: Government Fiscal Balance
29 Sovereign Wealth Fund Assets and Public Debt, 2008
1 Middle Eastern Oil Exporters: Summary of Crisis Response Measures
2 Growth and Inflation, 2007–10
3 Banking Sector Performance and Soundness
4 Financial Soundness Indicators, 2008
5 Middle Eastern Oil Importers: Summary of Crisis Response Measures
6 Tax Revenue
7 The Caucasus and Central Asia: Real GDP Growth
8 The Caucasus and Central Asia: Summary of Crisis Response Measures
Statistical Appendix Tables
1 Real GDP Growth
2 Nominal GDP
3 Oil and Non-Oil Real GDP Growth for Oil Exporters
4 Crude Oil Production and Exports
5 Consumer Price Inflation
6 Central Government Fiscal Balance
7 Broad Money Growth
8 Central Government Total Revenue, Excluding Grants
9 Oil Exporters: Central Government Non-Oil Fiscal Balance
10 Oil Exporters: Central Government Non-Oil Revenue
11 Central Government Total Expenditure and Net Lending
12 Total Government Debt
13 Exports of Goods and Services
14 Imports of Goods and Services
15 Current Account Balance (in billions of U.S. dollars)
16 Current Account Balance (in percent of GDP)
17 Gross Official Reserves
18 Total Gross External Debt