Economic growth rates of oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are moderating as oil production flattens in response to modest global demand, reports the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF expects average growth for a group of exporters to be 3.2% this year, down from 5.7% last year. It projects average growth of 3.7% in 2014 for the group, which includes Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
The region’s oil importers, IMF says, “face a difficult external environment.” The importers’ group—Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Sudan, and Tunisia—will have average economic growth of 3% this year vs. 2.7% last year. IMF projects the importers’ growth next year at 3.6%.
“Economic conditions remain impaired across most MENA oil importers, with continued social unrest, complex political transitions, and an economic environment characterized by modest global growth, persistently high food and fuel prices, and weak domestic confidence,” IMF Middle East Department Director Masood Ahmed told a press conference in Dubai.