Middle East and Central Asia > Kuwait

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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Volatile commodity prices and a tightly managed exchange rate (ER) have led to boom and bust cycles with significant impacts on the public and financial sectors. While the previous Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement (December 2017—March 2021) has helped maintain macroeconomic stability, the pandemic has delayed structural reform implementation and widened the gap to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, surging international commodity prices since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine have deteriorated the external and fiscal balances and led to inflationary pressures and food insecurity. In March 2021, the authorities requested a successor arrangement to support accelerated implementation of their national development strategy, help increase social and infrastructure spending, and improve governance and the business environment.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
GCC policymakers have managed to quickly mitigate the economic impact of the twin COVID-19 and oil price shock. Commodity prices have surged, and the outlook is more positive for GCC countries, with new challenges linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and tighter global financial conditions expected to have a limited impact on GCC economies. While GCC countries have overall benefited from higher, albeit volatile hydrocarbon prices, numerous risks still cloud the outlook—notably a slowdown in the global economy. In this context, the reform momentum established during the low oil price years should be maintained—irrespective of the level of hydrocarbon prices.