Middle East and Central Asia

Regional Economic Outlook:Middle East and Central Asia

May 2008

World Economic and Financial Surveys

Ordering Information

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.

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Assumptions and Conventions
Recent Macroeconomic Developments
  Recent Economic Developments
Economic Outlook and Policy Challenges
  Economic Outlook
      World economic outlook
      Outlook for the MCD region
  Policy Challenges
Statistical Appendix
  Data and Conventions
1 Georgia: Successful Reforms Since the Rose Revolution
2 GCC Capital Flows to MENA Emerging Market Countries
3 Iraq: Encouraging Economic Performance in 2007
4 The Rise in Inflation in the GCC Countries
5 Algeria’s Experience with Managing Hydrocarbon Wealth
6 Oil Income: What Is Being Done with It?
7 Oil Prices: Fundamentals or Speculation?
8 West Bank and Gaza: The Road to Recovery
9 Sovereign Wealth Funds in the Spotlight
10 Real Estate Prices in the MCD Region
1 Global Real GDP Growth
2 Real GDP Growth in the MCD Region
3 Oil and Non-Oil GDP Growth in Oil Exporters, 2007
4 Growth in Emerging Markets
5a Consumer Price Inflation: Country Aggregates
5b Consumer Price Inflation: Individual Countries
6 Nominal Effective Exchange Rates
7 Real Effective Exchange Rates
8a Government Fiscal Balance: Country Aggregates
8b Government Fiscal Balance: Individual Countries
9 Total Government Debt
10 Government Expenditure in Oil Exporters
11 Credit to the Private Sector
12 Money and Credit to the Private Sector in Low-Income Countries
13a External Current Account Balance: Country Aggregates
13b External Current Account Balance: Individual Countries
14 Gross Official Reserves
15 Stock Market Indices in Selected Countries
16 Sovereign Spreads in Selected Countries
17 Global Outlook
18 International Commodity Prices
19 Brent Crude Oil Prices
20 Global Growth Forecast
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