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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Jordan has made significant progress since the 2014 Article IV Consultation but pressing challenges remain. The gradual pick-up in growth from 2010 to 2014 ended in 2015, with real GDP growth decelerating from 2.4 percent in 2015 to 2 percent in 2016. Labor market conditions have remained challenging, particularly for youth and women, with the unemployment rate increasing to 15.8 percent in the second half of 2016. Despite considerable progress and recent improvements, the outlook remains challenging. Real GDP growth is projected to reach 2.3 percent in 2017, while inflation is expected to stabilize at about 2.5 percent by year-end.
Mr. Bjoern Rother, Ms. Gaelle Pierre, Davide Lombardo, Risto Herrala, Ms. Priscilla Toffano, Mr. Erik Roos, Mr. Allan G Auclair, and Ms. Karina Manasseh
In recent decades, the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has experienced more frequent and severe conflicts than in any other region of the world, exacting a devastating human toll. The region now faces unprecedented challenges, including the emergence of violent non-state actors, significant destruction, and a refugee crisis bigger than any since World War II. This paper raises awareness of the economic costs of conflicts on the countries directly involved and on their neighbors. It argues that appropriate macroeconomic policies can help mitigate the impact of conflicts in the short term, and that fostering higher and more inclusive growth can help address some of the root causes of conflicts over the long term. The paper also highlights the crucial role of external partners, including the IMF, in helping MENA countries tackle these challenges.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Iraq is facing a double shock emerging from the ISIS insurgency and the plunge in global oil prices. In 2014, real GDP contracted by 2.1 percent mainly owing to the impact of the conflict, while oil production and exports increased slightly compared with 2013. In 2015, overall economic activity is expected to see a modest recovery of 0.5 percent thanks to oil sector expansion, while non-oil activity is expected to contract further. Medium-term growth prospects remain positive, though less favorable than before the crisis. Growth will be driven by the projected ramp-up in oil production and the rebound in non-oil growth supported by the expected improvement in security and implementation of structural reform.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Jordan’s Sixth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement, Request for Waivers of Applicability of Performance Criteria (PC), and Rephasing of Access. PC Program performance remains broadly on course. All end-March 2015 PCs are expected to be met. Structural performance saw improvement, including the pre-approval of a credit bureau and the establishment of a new public investment framework. There is an urgent need for broad-based policy actions in the labor market to put the unemployed into jobs, increase female labor force participation, and reform public-sector compensation and hiring practices. The IMF staff supports the completion of the sixth review and the related purchase.
International Monetary Fund
A financial program that aims to ensure macroeconomic stability of Iraq was discussed. The Iraqi economy was severely affected in 2009 by the decline in oil prices. Macroeconomic stability was maintained in 2010, despite a highly uncertain domestic and external environment. Policy discussions were framed by Iraq’s medium-term prospects, especially with regard to the development of its vast hydrocarbon resources. Structural reforms under the program aim at improving public financial management.
International Monetary Fund
Kuwait’s economy continued to perform strongly in 2008, although signs of weakness emerged in the second half of the year. The authorities’ key challenge in the near term is to preserve financial stability and cushion the impact of the global slowdown. Executive Directors have commended the Kuwaiti authorities’ prudent macroeconomic policies, which have contributed to robust economic growth, strong fiscal and external positions. Directors have also called for strengthening oversight of risk management practices by ensuring adequate policies and procedures for identifying, monitoring, and controlling systemic risk in the financial system.
International Monetary Fund
The second review under Stand-By Arrangement and the financing assurances review highlight Iraq’s economic activity and robust growth. The authorities continue to see the improvement in security conditions, and the related recovery of oil and non-oil activity, as a window of opportunity to move toward a path of high and sustainable growth, in the context of continued macroeconomic stability. The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) is committed to maintaining its tight monetary stance, including through its exchange rate policy.