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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Growth prospects are favorable The short-term outlook remains generally favorable for the MCD region, despite the ongoing financial turmoil in developed financial markets. Real GDP is projected to grow at 6½ percent in 2008, before slowing somewhat to 6 percent in 2009. With oil prices remaining relatively high and a pick-up in oil production compensating for a moderate slowdown in the non-oil activity, oil-exporting countries are expected to continue to expand in 2008 at about the same rate as in 2007. Large investment programs as well as strong

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Highlights Economic activity in the Middle East and Central Asia (MCD) region continued to be strong in 2007, underpinned by robust global growth, high commodity prices, and improved policy frameworks. Real GDP grew at about 6½ percent, matching the region’s performance in 2006, and marking its best five-year performance since the 1980s. In oil-producing countries, relatively flat oil production limited the direct contribution of the oil sector to growth, but the record-high oil prices continued to support vigorous non-oil economic activity by financing

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Middle East and Central Asia (MCD) region has continued to see strong growth in 2008, outpacing global growth for the ninth year in a row, the IMF says in its latest regional economic outlook. Growth is underpinned by high commodity prices, strong domestic demand, and also the credibility of regional economic policies. So far, the Middle East and Central Asia region has been largely resilient to the ongoing international credit crisis and the downturn in the United States and other advanced economies. “However, inflation has emerged as a key issue

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Robust growth continues The MCD region has continued to experience strong growth in 2008, outpacing global growth for the ninth year in a row ( Figure 1 ). High commodity prices, strong domestic demand, and credibility of policy frameworks underpin an expected real GDP growth of 6½ percent in 2008, well above average growth since 2000. As a result, real GDP per capita is likely to grow by 5 percent in 2008, compared to 3 percent earlier this decade. And while growth in the MCD region is lower than in developing countries and emerging Asia—the region has

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

The Middle East and Central Asia (MCD) region has continued to experience strong growth in 2008, outpacing global growth for the ninth year in a row. High commodity prices, strong domestic demand, and credibility of policy frameworks underpin an expected real GDP growth of 6½ percent this year. And while growth in MCD is lower than in developing countries and emerging Asia, the region has so far largely remained resilient to the ongoing international credit crisis and the downturn in developed economies. The global credit crunch thus far has had a mixed

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

The MCD region faces the twin challenge of managing continued inflation pressures while addressing the growing downside risks from the global credit crisis. Many central banks have already raised policy interest rates in response to rising inflation. However, policy responses so far have been modest and interest rates generally remain negative in real terms, particularly in countries where the exchange rate is heavily managed vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar, suggesting some tightening of policies would be appropriate. At the same time, policymakers in the region

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Banks in the Middle East and Central Asia (MCD) region began the year in a generally strong position, but the unprecedented crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic could trigger significant increases in defaults and nonperforming loans (NPLs). The results from a streamlined stress-testing exercise show that the potential costs from asset impairment for countries in the region could reach $190 billion. In this exercise, the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region is hit particularly hard—oil exporters face the