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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

MENAP oil exporters have benefited from high oil prices, which have provided a boost to economic activity, directly and indirectly, through the fiscal space that has facilitated additional spending in 2011–12. Accommodative fiscal and monetary policies remain appropriate in most countries in light of the still-fragile recovery, the modest rebound in credit growth, and the lack of signs of overheating. Over the longer horizon, fiscal and monetary policy should be redesigned to enhance the ability to smooth consumption and absorb shocks, safeguard long-term sustainability, and bolster financial stability. Structural reforms should aim to boost diversification, generate employment, and increase access to economic opportunities.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Several MENAP oil exporters implemented sizable fiscal stimulus packages in 2009, which helped cushion the impact on the non-oil sector and on neighboring countries.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Prepared by Bruno Versailles (lead author), Olumuyiwa Adedeji, Botir Baltabaev, Magali Pinat, and Ling Zhu. Sebastián Herrador, Brian Hiland, and Jorge de León Miranda provided research assistance.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Sharp increases in oil prices, particularly after the beginning of the recent events in the region, have benefited the MENAP oil exporters’ fiscal and current account surpluses. Part of the increased oil revenues has been used to respond to social tensions. In managing the short-term uncertainties, oil exporters should not lose sight of their longer-term challenges: achieving strong and sustainable inclusive growth to provide employment for the rapidly growing labor force, especially for the youth; better fiscal management; and further development of the financial system.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

With the recovery in oil prices, MENAP oil exporters will experience visible improvements in fiscal and external balances during 2010–11. Non-oil activity is set to pick up, although more gradually, with lackluster private demand offset by supportive policies. In many countries, accommodative fiscal and monetary policies will continue to be appropriate over the coming year, but with a closer eye on emerging inflationary pressures. Beyond 2011, fiscal consolidation should be under way in virtually all countries to enable them to confront the medium-term challenges of ensuring a sustainable use of hydrocarbon revenues and supporting private-sector development. Financial sector priorities should focus on reducing cyclicality in bank lending, strengthening liquidity standards, addressing systemically important institutions, and improving bank resolution frameworks, while creating conditions for more forceful and effective supervision. Specific strategies will depend on each country’s stage of banking development and the degree to which it has been affected by the global financial crisis.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Klakow Akepanidtaworn, Gareth Anderson, Dalmacio R Benicio, and Joyce C. Wong prepared this chapter, and Oluremi Akin-Olugbade provided research assistance.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

MENAP oil importers withstood the 2008–09 global financial crisis well, having effectively used their limited room for countercyclical macroeconomic policy. As their economies have gained strength, these countries are now in a position to begin consolidating their fiscal positions. The overriding longer-term challenge remains that of creating enough jobs for a rapidly expanding population. To this end, improving the region’s competitiveness and reorienting trade toward faster-growing emerging markets are key, at a time when traditional European trading partners are growing more slowly.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The political and economic transformations in several MENAP countries are advancing slowly and are expected to extend well into 2012. These, together with a weakening in the global economy, have increased economic uncertainty in the region, leading to a sharp economic downturn and strains on macroeconomic stability. Governments have attempted to cushion the impact of the downturn, mainly through an expansion in untargeted subsidies and transfers, but they face limited fiscal room and rising borrowing costs. Accordingly, a difficult period lies ahead during the remainder of 2011 and in 2012, as economic recovery is expected to be a drawn-out process. Over the long term, leveraging the strengths of the region, while addressing weaknesses through a comprehensive reform agenda, can help it achieve higher and more inclusive growth—improving access to economic opportunities and providing better standards of living for its peoples.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Prepared by Boaz Nandwa. Research assistance was provided by Gohar Abajyan and Sebastian Herrador.