This paper investigates the factors that affect inflation in the GCC region by examining the inflationary processes in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The paper utilizes a model that accounts for foreign factors affecting inflation, such as trading partners' inflation and exchange rate pass-through effect, as well as domestic influences. The analysis concludes that, in the long run, higher inflation in trading partners' countries is the main driving force for inflation in the two countries, with significant but lower contributions from the exchange rate pass-through effect and oil prices. Demand and money supply shocks affect inflation in the short run.
Coordinating macroeconomic policies is a pre-requisite to a successful launch of the common currency in the GCC countries. Relying on the Behavioral Equilibrium Exchange Rate approach as a theoretical framework, we apply the Pooled Mean Group methodology to determine the similarity of the impact of a selected set of macroeconomic indicators on the real exchange rate in each country. Our empirical evidence points to a clear coordination of monetary policy, fiscal policy, government consumption, and openness across the member countries. While RER misalignments also show a substantial convergence building over time, differences in the misalignments of the two polar cases remain rather substantial, calling for further coordination and policy harmonization.
Kuwait’s 2006 Article IV Consultation reports that its macroeconomic performance has been strong in recent years reflecting sharply higher oil and non-oil activity. Over the medium term, Kuwait’s financial position is projected to remain strong. The large external current account and fiscal surpluses are expected to lead to a buildup of a large stock of financial assets for future generations. However, GDP growth is expected to slow down unless the pace of structural reforms accelerates.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.