Middle East and Central Asia > United Arab Emirates

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Mr. Serhan Cevik
This paper investigates the empirical characteristics of business cycles and the extent of cyclical comovement in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, using various measures of synchronization for non-hydrocarbon GDP and constituents of aggregate demand during the period 1990-2010. By applying the Christiano-Fitzgerald asymmetric band-pass filter and a mean corrected concordance index, the paper identifies the degree of non-hydrocarbon business cycle synchronization?one of the main prerequisites for countries considering to establish a monetary union. The empirical results show low and heterogeneous synchronization in non-hydrocarbon business cycles across the GCC economies, and a decline in the degree of synchronicity in the 2000s, if Kuwait is excluded from the sample, partly because of divergent fiscal policies.
Tahsin Saadi Sedik and Mr. Oral Williams
This paper analyzes the impact of global and regional spillovers to GCC equity markets. GCC equity markets were impacted by spillovers from U.S. equity markets despite varying degrees of foreign participation. Spillovers from regional equity markets were also important but the magnitude of the effects were on average smaller than that from mature markets. The results also illustrated episodes of contagion in particular during the recent global financial crisis. The findings suggest that given the degree of openness, and open capital accounts the financial channel is an important source through which volatility is transmitted. In this regard, GCC equity markets are not immune from global and regional financial shocks. These findings refute the notion of decoupling between the GCC equity and global equity markets.
Ms. Magda E. Kandil and Mrs. Hanan Morsy
Inflationary pressures have heightened in the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) since 2003. This paper studies determinants of inflation in GCC, using an empirical model that includes domestic and external factors. Inflation in major trading partners appears to be the most relevant foreign factor. In addition, oil revenues have reinforced inflationary pressures through growth of credit and aggregate spending. In the short-run, binding capacity constraints also explain higher inflation given increased government spending. Nonetheless, by targeting supply-side bottlenecks, the increase in government spending is easing capacity constraints and will ultimately help to moderate price inflation.
Mr. Saíd El-Naggar

Abstract

The challenge facing the Arab countries to maintain economic growth in the face of the deteriorating terms of trade affecting all developing countries was addressed in a seminar held in Abu Dhabi in early 1992. This volume, edited by Said El-Naggar, includes papers by contributors from the region as well as from the IMF.