Middle East and Central Asia

 
The reports discuss recent economic developments and prospects for countries in the Middle East and Central Asia regions. They also address economic policy developments that have affected economic performance in the regions, and discuss key challenges faced by policymakers. they address regional policy developments and challenges, and provide country-specific data and analysis, including through analytical pieces on issues of interest to the regions.

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2020

July 13, 2020

Regional Economic Outlook Update: Middle East and Central Asia

Description: The Middle East and Central Asia (MCD) region has reacted to the global COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures that have saved lives. However, these policies have also had a large impact on domestic economic activity. With several countries in the region beginning reopening in past weeks, and a recent uptick in activity, rising infection numbers may pose risks. A sharp decline in oil prices together with production cuts among oil exporters and disruptions in trade and tourism added further headwinds. As a result, growth in the region is now projected at –4.7 percent in 2020, 2 percentage points lower than in April 2020. The unusually high level of uncertainty regarding the length of the pandemic and its impact on firm closures, the resulting downside risks (including social unrest and political instability), and potential renewed volatility in global oil markets dominate the outlook. The pandemic will continue to test countries’ health capacity and economic resilience. While ensuring strong health systems remains the immediate priority, governments should also focus on supporting the recovery and setting up resilient and well-targeted social safety nets. As the pandemic wanes, countries should facilitate recovery by easing the reallocation of workers and resources, as needed, while resuming gradual fiscal adjustment and rebuilding policy buffers. Multilateral support can play a key role in helping countries surmount these shocks.

April 15, 2020

Confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Middle East and Central Asia

Description: Countries of the Middle East and Central Asia region have been hit by two large and reinforcing shocks, resulting in significantly weaker growth projections in 2020. In addition to the devastating toll on human health, the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in oil prices are causing economic turmoil in the region, with fragile and conflict affected states particularly hard-hit given already large humanitarian and refugee challenges and weak health infrastructures. The immediate priority for policies is to save lives with needed health spending, regardless of fiscal space, while preserving engines of growth with targeted support to households and hard-hit sectors. In this context, the IMF has been providing emergency assistance to help countries in the region during these challenging times. Further ahead, economic recoveries should be supported with broad fiscal and monetary measures where policy space is available, and by seeking external assistance where space is limited.

2019

October 28, 2019

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia

Description: The impact on growth in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region from global headwinds remains muted thus far, while growth in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region is stable. However, growth is too low to meet the needs of growing populations, while risks to the outlook have increased. They include global trade uncertainties, volatile oil prices, geopolitical tensions, and domestic vulnerabilities in some countries.

April 29, 2019

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia Update

Description: Growth for countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region has weakened but remains broadly stable in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA). Volatile oil prices, restrained oil production, and tighter domestic monetary conditions in most oil exporters add to headwinds from slowing global growth. Elevated public debt in oil importers limits capacity to address critical infrastructure and social needs, restrains growth, and leaves economies vulnerable to external shocks. A more challenging external environment increases the urgency across all regions of further growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and structural reform efforts to enhance resilience and deliver higher and more inclusive private-sector-led growth.

2018

November 6, 2018

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia November 2018

Description: A modest growth recovery continues for countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan region. Higher oil prices are providing support for oil-exporting countries but are adding to pressures facing oil-importing countries. Meanwhile, growth in the Caucasus and Central Asia region exceeded expectations in 2017, but momentum is set to fade. At forecasted growth rates, it will take the region nearly two decades to reach the per capita income levels of emerging Europe. Faster-than-anticipated tightening of global financial conditions and rising trade tensions cloud the outlook for both regions. The increasingly challenging global environment underscores the need for both regions to build resilience and accelerate reforms that build dynamic private sectors and promote inclusive growth.

May 2, 2018

Regional Economic Outlook Update: Middle East and Central Asia

Description:

Growth is improving in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region and was stronger than expected last year in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region. However, the regions are not fully benefitting from the stronger global outlook.

In MENAP, the fragile recovery requires further reforms that will help diversify economies, create jobs, and secure resilience.

Meanwhile, the growth momentum in the CCA is temporary, which is why action is needed now to spur private-sector development, so that the region avoids a new reality of low growth.

MENAP Full Text

CCA Full Text

Аймақтық экономикалық болжам Жаңарту

2017

October 17, 2017

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, October 2017

Description: Economic prospects for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) and Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) regions are diverging. Despite the strengthening global recovery, the outlook for MENAP countries remains relatively subdued due to the continued adjustment to low oil prices and regional conflicts. In contrast, the outlook for the CCA region is improving, supported by the more favorable global environment. In both regions, efforts to promote growth-friendly fiscal consolidation, stronger monetary policy frameworks, economic diversification and private sector development should continue. The window of opportunity arising from various integration initiatives and the favorable external environment call for increasing trade openness, while the adoption of financial technologies could increase financial inclusion and facilitate greater access to credit. Together, these actions will help MENAP and CCA countries to secure higher and more inclusive growth.

2016

April 25, 2016

IMF Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, April 2016

Description: These reports discuss recent economic developments and prospects for countries in various regions. They also address economic policy developments that have affected economic performance in the regions, and discuss key challenges faced by policymakers. They address regional policy developments and challenges, and provide country-specific data and analysis, including through analytical pieces on issues of interest to a particular region.

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