Bahrain’s economy will grow 3.3 per cent this year says IMF

MANAMA: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Bahrain’s economy to grow 3.3 per cent this year versus a forecast of 2.3pc in October.

The agency now expects most Gulf economies to recover this year at a faster pace than previously estimated, as it raised its 2021 global growth forecast to 6pc from 5.5pc less than three months ago.

Saudi Arabia’s economy, the region’s largest, is expected to grow 2.9pc this year, up from the 2.6pc forecast in January, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook, released this week.

The Saudi economy contracted 4.1pc last year due to the twin shock of the Covid-19 pandemic and lower oil prices.

The UAE, the Gulf’s second largest economy, will see growth of 3.1pc this year, rebounding from a 5.9pc contraction in 2020, the IMF said.

In October last year it had forecast a 6.6pc drop in 2020 and 1.3pc growth this year.

Oman saw the biggest positive revision of the Gulf countries, from expectations of a 0.5pc contraction this year to a forecast of 1.8pc growth.

Forecasts for Kuwait and Qatar remained almost unchanged, with Kuwait expected to post 0.7pc growth this year, up from an October estimate of 0.6pc.

Qatar’s economy is estimated to grow 2.4pc, just below the previous 2.5pc estimate.

The IMF on Tuesday said unprecedented public spending to fight the Covid-19 pandemic would push global growth to 6pc this year, the fastest pace since 1976.




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