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Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
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Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia

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The May 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia reports on the implications for the region of global economic developments and presents key policy challenges and recommendations. …

The May 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia reports on the implications for the region of global economic developments and presents key policy challenges and recommendations. A resumption of capital inflows and the rebound in crude oil prices have aided the recovery in the oil-exporting countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The group of oil-importing countries is expected to show marginal increase in growth in response to a pickup in trade, investment, and bank credit. A key challenge for these countries is to enhance competitiveness to raise growth rates and generate employment. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, exports have begun to pick up, the decline in remittances appears to be slowing or reversing, and capital inflows have turned positive. For 2010, a recovery across the region is projected as the global economy, and in particular Russia, picks up speed. Overall, prospects for the region are improving and the regional impact of the Dubai crisis and events in Greece has been limited so far. Nevertheless, a repricing of sovereign debt cannot be excluded, adding a degree of uncertainty to the outlook.


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  • 1. Regional Economic Outlook
  • 2. Outline
  • 3. Multi-speed recovery
  • 4. Global Stocks (Morgan Stanley MSCI Stock Price Indices in U.S. Dollars, MER Weighted; 2007 = 100) 1 Averages of BB-B US, BB-B Euro, and BBB Japan corporate bond spreads. Sovereign and Corporate Bond Spreads (Basis points) Global financial markets have recovered faster than expected
  • 5. Emerging Market External Bond and Equity Issuance (Billions of U.S. dollars) Capital flows have returned to emerging markets after sudden stop
  • 6. Source: Bank of England, European Central Bank, and the Federal Reserve Board. Private Credit Growth (Annualized percent change of 3mma over previous 3mma) Bank credit remains hard to come by in many countries Banks need to rebuild capital
  • 7. Real GDP Growth (Percentage growth from previous year) World economy set for a further recovery at varying speeds
    • Fading fiscal stimulus
    • Less inventory restocking
    • will hold back growth later in 2010 and 2011
  • 8. Global GDP (Index, 2006=100) Global financial crisis is leaving lasting scars on output levels
  • 9. Global Policy Challenges
    • Devise credible exit strategies—medium-term fiscal consolidation plans urgently needed
    • Repair and reform financial systems
    • Combat unemployment
    • Manage capital flows
  • 10. MENAP Oil Exporters Afghanistan Pakistan Iran Iraq Saudi Arabia Yemen Oman Qatar Bahrain Kuwait Sudan Libya Algeria Morocco Mauritania Lebanon Syria Jordan Tunisia Djibouti Egypt United Arab Emirates West Bank & Gaza
  • 11. Oil Exporters: Key Messages Recovery is underway , driven by rising oil demand and continued supportive policies Continue stimulus where there is fiscal room , to boost non-oil sector activity Barring signs of overheating, accommodative monetary policy is appropriate to mitigate the current credit bust Capital flows are recovering , but greater differentiation of sovereign risk can be expected, following Dubai World and Greece events
  • 12. Rising oil prices have spurred recovery in exports and local stock markets Merchandise Trade and Crude Oil Prices (Billions of U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated) Stock Markets (Indices: August 2008 = 100) Source: IMF, Direction of Trade Statistics; IMF, International Financial Statistics. Source: Bloomberg. Exports are recovering from early 2009 lows Stock markets have risen, even after Dubai World event
  • 13. Overall fiscal balances will also improve, even with continued stimulus Government Fiscal Balance (Percent of GDP) Government Expenditure (Percent of GDP) … as oil-related revenues rise Sources: National authorities; and IMF staff estimates.
  • 14. Looking to 2010, recovery will continue External environment is projected to be favorable to the oil sector Non-oil sector will continue to be buoyed by accommodative macro policy Overall future growth rates to remain lower than precrisis, but more sustainable Source: National Authorities; and IMF staff estimates. Real GDP Growth (Percent)
  • 15. External balances are projected to improve … as oil prices and crude oil production rise in 2010 Current Account Balances ( Billions of U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated) Sources: National authorities; and IMF staff estimates.
  • 16. Oil price uncertainty going forward WTI Oil Price Prospects 1 (U.S. dollars per barrel) Sources: Bloomberg; and IMF staff calculations. 1 Derived from prices of futures options on May 17, 2010.
  • 17. Clouding the horizon: sluggish post-crisis credit growth Credit growth has slowed appreciably Sources: National Authorities; and IMF, International Financial Statistics. 1 Excludes Iran, Iraq, and Libya due to data limitations. Credit and Deposit Growth 1 (PPP GDP weighted year-on-year growth rates, percent) … and inflation generally not a concern Sources: National authorities. Inflation (Consumer price index, year-on-year growth, percent)
  • 18. Slow credit growth is likely to persist Historical patterns show protracted period of sluggishness following booms Sources: IMF, International Financial Statistics; and staff calculations. Note: Unweighted average of real credit growth around boom years identified between 1983 and 2008. Credit was deflated by the CPI index. Boom year in shaded area. Real credit surrounding credit booms (Percent change) Quarters
  • 19. Capital inflows: boom, bust, and partial recovery Capital Flows (Percent of GDP) Large increase in inflows to the Gulf up to 2007, followed by reversal of mainly non-FDI flows… … while international issuance has begun to recover, concentrated in bonds and in the Gulf Sources: IMF, World Economic Outlook. International Issuance (Billions of U.S. dollars) Dubai World event led to disruption in bond issuance
  • 20. MENAP Oil Importers Afghanistan Pakistan Iran Iraq Saudi Arabia Yemen Oman Qatar Bahrain Kuwait Sudan Libya Algeria Morocco Mauritania Lebanon Syria Jordan Tunisia Djibouti Egypt United Arab Emirates West Bank & Gaza
  • 21. Oil Importers: Key Messages The region is slowly recovering from last year’s slowdown
    • Trade is rising along with the global rebound
    • Investment and bank credit are still subdued
    Obstacles to growth ahead and room for stimulus is narrowing
    • Persistent weakness in EU demand and competition from other emerging markets
    • Governments facing high debt will need to cut back on fiscal expansion
    • High inflation in some countries
    Policy focus will need to shift to medium-term structural agenda
    • Raising growth and creating employment is again at center stage
    • Developing capital markets can help revive credit and investment
    • Structural reforms key to improving competitiveness
  • 22. International trade is mending… Merchandise Trade in U.S. dollars 1 (Annual percent change of 3-month moving average) External Receipts (Billions of U.S. dollars) Sources: National authorities; and Haver Analytics. ¹ Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, and Tunisia. Sources: IMF, World Economic Outlook; National authorities; and IMF staff estimates. ¹ Excludes Afghanistan, Mauritania, and Pakistan. 2 Excludes Afghanistan and Djibouti. Trade is recovering after the sharp fall during the global crisis But expansion will be slow, with exports and FDI still well below 2008 levels
  • 23. … and financial markets have rebounded Stock Market Indices (January 1, 2007 = 100) Sovereign Bond Spreads (Basis Points) Source: Bloomberg. 1 Morgan Stanley Capital International Index, emerging markets. Source: Bloomberg. Stocks are up, but - aside from Tunisia - still well below earlier highs Bond spreads have narrowed over the past year; little impact so far from Greece
  • 24. But credit and capital inflows still sluggish Bank Credit to the Private Sector (Year-on-year growth, in percent) International Issuance (Billions of U.S. dollars) Source: National Authorities and IMF staff calculations. Source: Dealogic. Credit growth has fallen sharply in several countries Capital inflows to the region have been slow to come back and equity still lagging MENAP Oil Importers
  • 25. Growth picking up, but falling short of other EMs Region is rebounding, but less so than comparators Source: National Authorities; and IMF staff estimates. Real GDP Growth (Percent)
  • 26. Trade linkages to Europe highest in the Maghreb Europe share of total merchandise exports, 2009 (Percent) Sources: Direction of Trade Statistics, IMF
  • 27. Limited room for further policy stimulus Inflation pressures mount in several countries, limiting room for monetary policy High public debt levels constrain fiscal policy options Sources: National Authorities; and IMF staff estimates. Sources: National Authorities. Prices (Annual percent change) Fiscal Deficit and Public Debt, 2010 (Percent of GDP) End-2010
  • 28. Competitive challenges are again at the fore Exports continue to underperform Business environment mostly lagging Sources: World Bank; and World Economic Forum. Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook. Note: Excludes oil exports. Exports Per Capita (Percent of world average) Competitiveness Indicators (Latest rankings) More competitive
  • 29. Unemployment looms large Unemployment and Growth 1 (Percent) High unemployment Spillovers from a tepid recovery in Europe
    • Large structural component
    • Government jobs not the solution
    • Weakened prospects for exports and remittances
    • Impact on development aid?
    Sources: National Authorities; and IMF staff estimates. 1 Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia.
  • 30. Policy Priorities
    • Growth and job creation will have to come from the private sector
    • Focus on enhancing business environment, labor market flexibility, and education systems
    • Gear fiscal and monetary policy to creating supportive conditions: strengthening revenue, scaling back subsidies, and addressing NPLs
    • Fiscal stimulus: until private-sector activity regains momentum
    • Monetary support/regulatory policy: balance goal of supporting credit growth with that of financial stability
    • Ensure smooth process of cleanup of bank balance sheets: upfront recognition of losses and bank recapitalization if needed
    Develop local capital markets to provide alternatives to bank credit Structural reforms to improve competitiveness Oil Importers Maintain fiscal and monetary stimulus as conditions permit Oil Exporters
  • 31. Please visit the IMF’s website Full report: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ ft/reo/2010/MCD/eng/mreo0510.htm What do you think? Make your point on the related blogs: http://blog-imfdirect.imf.org