- International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
- Published Date:
- October 2018
World Economic and Financial Surveys
Regional Economic Outlook
Middle East and Central Asia
International Monetary Fund
©2018 International Monetary Fund
Names: International Monetary Fund. | International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Department.
Title: Regional economic outlook. Middle East and Central Asia.
Other titles: Middle East and Central Asia | MCD REO | World economic and financial surveys.
Description: Washington, DC : International Monetary Fund, 2018 | Oct. 18. | Includes bibliographical references.
Identifiers: ISBN 9781484375389 (paper)
Subjects: LCSH: Middle East—Economic conditions. | Asia, Central—Economic conditions. | Economic forecasting—Middle East. | Economic forecasting—Asia, Central. | Economic development—Middle East. | Economic development—Asia, Central.
Classification: LCC HC415.15.A1 R445 2018
ISBN: 978-1-48437-538-9 (Paper)
The Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia is published annually in the fall to review developments in the Middle East and Central Asia. Both projections and policy considerations are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF Management.
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- Assumptions and Conventions
- Country Groupings
- Global Developments and Outlook: Implications for the Middle East and Central Asia Region
- 1. MENAP Oil-Exporting Countries: Higher Oil Prices Providing Temporary Support
- Recovery Underway
- External Balances Improving
- Stronger Oil Revenues Providing Fiscal Space
- Fiscal Reforms Should Continue
- Private Sector Credit Remains Tepid
- Short-Term Risks Are Balanced, but Skewed to the Downside Beyond
- Addressing Labor Market Distortions and Improving the Business Environment
- 2. MENAP Oil-Importing Countries: Safeguarding the Growth Recovery Amid Rising Risks
- A Need to Enhance Resilience
- Slow and Uneven Recovery Underway
- External Balances Improving, but Vulnerabilities Elevated
- Financial Conditions Reflect Increased Global and Regional Risks
- With Elevated Public Debt, Further Growth-Friendly Consolidation Needed
- Inflationary Pressures Modest Amid Rising Energy Prices
- Medium-Term Growth Too Low to Address Employment Challenges
- Limited Policy Space: Continued Structural Reforms Needed for Durable and Inclusive Growth
- Risks Remain to the Downside
- 3. Caucasus and Central Asia: Unlocking the Region’s Growth Potential
- Growth Recovery Stabilizing and Inflation Remains Subdued
- Fiscal Consolidation Underway
- Higher Oil Prices Driving External Positions
- External Risks Rising
- Growth Too Low to Raise Living Standards Over the Medium Term
- Reducing the State Footprint to Provide Room for the Private Sector
- Creating an Enabling Business Environment for Private Investment
- Enhancing the Financial Sector Contribution to Growth
- Enhancing Resilience through Growth-Friendly Fiscal Consolidation
- 4. Fiscal Policy for Durable and Inclusive Growth in the Middle East and Central Asia
- 5. Private Investment for Inclusive Growth in the Middle East and Central Asia
- Boosting Private Investment Is Key to Achieving Higher Inclusive Growth
- Private Investment in Middle East and Central Asia Countries Is Low
- Large Public Sectors Impeding Private Sector Development
- Constraints in the Business Climate Holding Back the Private Sector
- Empirical Determinants of Private Investment
- Policy Recommendations
- 1 Global Financial Market and Trade Presures and Transmission to MENAP and CCA Countries
- 1.1 Conflict in the Middle East and Central Asia: Costs and Economic Policy Priorities
- 1.2 The Impact of Including Gulf Cooperative Council Countries in the Global Diversified Emerging Market Bond Index
- 3.1 Opening Up in the Caucasus and Central Asia
- 4.1 Getting the Balance Right: Revenue Reforms for Growth and Equity
- 5.1 Determinants of Private Investment: An Empirical Examination
- 1 Evolution of Oil Prices
- 1.1 Real GDP Growth
- 1.2 Real Non-Oil GDP Growth
- 1.3 Current Account Balance in MENAP Oil Exporters
- 1.4 Balance of Payments: Financial Account Flows
- 1.5 GCC Sovereign JPM MECI Spreads
- 1.6 Change in Non-Oil Primary Fiscal Balance Relative to Previous Year
- 1.7 Bank Credit to the Private Sector and Capital Adequacy Ratios
- 1.8 Challenges to Doing Business in MENAP Oil Exporters excl. Conflict Countries
- 1.1.1 Net Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, 2017
- 1.1.2 Output Relative to Regional Comparators
- 1.2.1 Sovereign Spreads vs. Rating
- 2.1 Divergent GDP Growth Pace
- 2.2 Contributions to Real GDP Growth
- 2.3 External Indicators for MENAP Oil Importers
- 2.4 Current Account Deficit: Impact of Oil Price Shocks
- 2.5 MENAP Oil Importers: Sovereign Spreads to EMBI
- 2.6 Changes in Government Spending and Revenues
- 2.7 External Debt Maturing in 2018:H2–2019
- 2.8 Real Policy Interest Rates and Inflation
- 2.9 Slow and Fragile Uneven Growth Recovery
- 2.10 Unemployment and Real GDP per Capita, 2008–17
- 2.11 Striving for Higher Growth
- 3.1 Medium-Term Growth Prospects
- 3.2 Change in the Non-Oil and Overall Fiscal Balance Ratio: 2017–18
- 3.3 Total Reserve Assets
- 3.4 Current Account Balance and Exports for CCA
- 3.5 Banking Credit to Public Nonfinancial Sector and Total Credit in 2017
- 3.6 Private Gross Fixed Capital Formation
- 3.7 Challenges to Doing Business in CCA
- 3.8 Business Entry Density Rate
- 3.9 Banking Credit to the Private Sector
- 3.10 Gross General Government Debt and Debt in Foreign Currency or Linked to the Exchange Rate
- 3.11 Average Transfer Amount
- 3.1.1 Estimated Contributions of Trade Measures to Growth
- 4.1 Fiscal Balance and Debt
- 4.2 Changes in Government Spending and Revenues in MENAP and CCA
- 4.3 Composition of Selected Taxation Items in 2017
- 4.4 Composition of Selected Expenditure Items in 2017
- 4.5 Infrastructure Quality and Capital Expenditure in 2010–17
- 4.6 Social Spending Efficiency
- 4.7 Corruption and Tax Revenues
- 4.8 Digital Adoption Index by Governments 2016 and Open Budget Index, 2017
- 4.1.1 Model Simulation Results
- 5.1 Decomposition of Real GDP Growth
- 5.2 Private Investment Ratios
- 5.3 Private Investment by Income Level
- 5.4 Private Investment Ratios
- 5.5 Real Investment
- 5.6 Foreign Direct Investment Inflows
- 5.7 Foreign Direct Investment Inflow Commitments
- 5.8 Correlations between Public and Private Investment, 1995–2017
- 5.9 Bank Credit to Public Nonfinancial Corporations
- 5.10 Public Sector Employment
- 5.11 Challenges to Doing Business
- 5.12 New Businesses in Emerging Market Economies
- 5.13 Economic Significance of Noninstitutional Drivers of Private Investment
- 5.14 Explanatory Power of Institutional Variables
- 5.15 Financial Development
- 5.16 Rule of Law
- 1 MENAP and CCA Export Intensity by Recipient 2016
- 3.1 Years to Reach Comparator Current per Capita GDP at Forecast Growth Rate
- 5.1.1 First-Stage Regression Results
- Online Background Papers
- Statistical Appendix
- Table 4.1. Key Characteristics of Different Taxes
The Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia (REO) is prepared annually by the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department (MCD). The analysis and projections contained in the REO are integral elements of the department’s surveillance of economic developments and policies in member countries from the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan and Caucasus and Central Asia regions. It draws primarily on information gathered by MCD staff through their consultations with member countries.
The analysis in this report was coordinated under the general supervision of Jihad Azour (MCD Director). The project was directed by Taline Koranchelian (MCD Deputy Director), Allison Holland (Chief of the MCD Regional Studies Division), and Ali Al-Eyd (Deputy Chief of the MCD Regional Studies Division). The primary contributors to this report were Philip Barrett, Anastasia Guscina, Boaz Nandwa, Frantisek Ricka, Aminata Touré, Juan Treviño, and Fang Yang.
Other contributors include Majdi Debbich, Peter Kunzel, Sanan Mirzayev, and Jean Frédéric Noah Ndela Ntsama.
Gohar Abajyan, Sebastián Herrador Guzman, and Jorge de León Miranda managed the database and computer systems and provided research assistance. Additional research support was provided by Ramzy Al Amine, Rayah Al Farah, and Jimmy Hatem.
Administrative support was provided by Dayana Caero, Esther George, and Bianca Perez Alvarado. Editorial assistance was provided by Cooper Allen, in collaboration with Linda Long, David Einhorn, and Heidi Grauel of the Communications Department. Ramzy Al Amine, Botir Baltabaev, Najla Nakhle, Gaëlle Pierre, Babacar Sarr, Robert Tchaidze, and Mohammed Zaher reviewed the translations, in coordination with Yelena Eydinova.
Assumptions and Conventions
A number of assumptions have been adopted for the projections presented in the Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia. It has been assumed that established policies of national authorities will be maintained, that the price of oil will average US$69.38 a barrel in 2018 and US$68.76 a barrel in 2019, and that the six-month London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) on US dollar deposits will average 2.5 percent in 2018 and 3.4 percent in 2019. These are, of course, working hypotheses rather than forecasts, and the uncertainties surrounding them add to the margin of error that would in any event be involved in the projections. The 2018 and 2019 data in the figures and tables are projections. These projections are based on statistical information available through early September 2018.
The following conventions are used in this publication:
- In tables, ellipsis points (. . .) indicate “not available,” and 0 or 0.0 indicates “zero” or “negligible.” Minor discrepancies between sums of constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.
- An en dash (–) between years or months (for example, 2011–12 or January–June) indicates the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months; a slash or virgule (/) between years or months (for example, 2011/12) indicates a fiscal or financial year, as does the abbreviation FY (for example, FY 2012).
- “Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion.
- “Basis points (bps)” refer to hundredths of 1 percentage point (for example, 25 basis points are equivalent to ¼ of 1 percentage point).
As used in this publication, the term “country” does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained on a separte and independent basis.
The boundaries, colors, denominations, and any other information shown on the maps do not imply, on the part of the International Monetary Fund, any judgment on the legal status of any territory or any endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.1Simple average of prices of UK Brent, Dubai Fateh, and West Texas Intermediate crude oil.
The October 2018 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia covers countries in the Middle East and Central Asia Department (MCD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It provides a broad overview of recent economic developments and of prospects and policy issues for the medium term. To facilitate the analysis, the 31 MCD countries covered in this report are divided into two groups: (1) countries of the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP)—which are further divided into oil exporters and oil importers; and (2) countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA). The country acronyms and abbreviations used in some tables and figures are included in parentheses.
MENAP oil exporters include Algeria (ALG), Bahrain (BHR), Iran (IRN), Iraq (IRQ), Kuwait (KWT), Libya (LBY), Oman (OMN), Qatar (QAT), Saudi Arabia (SAU), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen (YMN).
MENAP oil importers include Afghanistan (AFG), Djibouti (DJI), Egypt (EGY), Jordan (JOR), Lebanon (LBN), Mauritania (MRT), Morocco (MAR), Pakistan (PAK), Somalia (SOM), Sudan (SDN), Syria (SYR), and Tunisia (TUN).
MENA includes Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
MENA oil importers include Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Tunisia.
The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
The non-GCC oil-exporting countries are Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.
CCA countries are Armenia (ARM), Azerbaijan (AZE), Georgia (GEO), Kazakhstan (KAZ), the Kyrgyz Republic (KGZ), Tajikistan (TJK), Turkmenistan (TKM), and Uzbekistan (UBZ).
CCA oil exporters are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
CCA oil importers are Armenia, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan.