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Friday, January 18, 2019

IMF ups MENA growth

by The Media Office

© Shutterstock: Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raises its growth forecast for oil exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) to 6.6 per cent this year from its earlier forecast of 4.8 per cent. That’s thanks to high oil prices – and a strong rebound of activity in Libya. The revision came just days after IMF Chief Christine Lagarde praised Gulf oil exporters for their help in stablising the global economy with “good management” of oil prices and reserves.

“It gives me an opportunity to thank the GCC countries for their ... stabilising role in the global economy because of the good monitoring and good management of oil prices,” Lagarde said.

Lagarde was speaking at a news conference after meeting with senior officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which groups six wealthy oil-exporting countries - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.

However the IMF cautioned oil economies against heavily boosting their expenditures as “substantial declines in the price of oil could heavily impact their fiscal positions”.

In its previous semi-annual review in April the fund projected 4.8 per cent growth across the oil producing economies in the MENA region.

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