Economists split on Mena recovery

Economists are evenly split on the prospects for the Middle East and North Africa economy, with equal shares of 36 per cent expecting weak and strong growth this year, says a survey released yesterday.

In its latest Chief Economists Outlook, the World Economic Forum said the region’s prospects have been affected by Opec+ agreements to cut oil production, which led, for example, to the IMF revising its GDP forecasts for Saudi Arabia to reflect a projected fall from 8.7 per cent growth in 2022 to 3.1pc in 2023.

A slight majority (52pc) also expects the Middle East and North Africa region to record high inflation this year.

For the global economy as a whole, there are signs of nascent optimism, and the growth outlook has picked up across all regions.

Economists worldwide are evenly divided on the prospects for the economy, with equal shares of 45 per cent finding a global recession this year likely or unlikely.

However, policy-makers, businesses and households continue to face headwinds, including persistent inflationary pressures and tighter financial conditions.

According to a significant majority of the chief economists surveyed, recent turbulence in the financial sector is not a sign of systemic vulnerability, but further disruption is considered likely this year.

On the economic policy front, 72 per cent predict proactive industrial policy to become an increasingly widespread phenomenon over the next three years.






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