Middle East and Central Asia > Saudi Arabia

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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
GCC policymakers have managed to quickly mitigate the economic impact of the twin COVID-19 and oil price shock. Commodity prices have surged, and the outlook is more positive for GCC countries, with new challenges linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and tighter global financial conditions expected to have a limited impact on GCC economies. While GCC countries have overall benefited from higher, albeit volatile hydrocarbon prices, numerous risks still cloud the outlook—notably a slowdown in the global economy. In this context, the reform momentum established during the low oil price years should be maintained—irrespective of the level of hydrocarbon prices.
Mr. Andrea Pescatori and Yousef F. Nazer
This paper studies the historical importance of OPEC for oil price fluctuations. An event-study approach is used to identify the effects of OPEC announcements on oil price fluctuations. Results show that price volatility is higher than typical around OPEC meetings. Also, members' compliance, a proxy for credibility, has strongly fluctuated over time. An ordered multinomial logit framework identifies the main factors that explain OPEC's decisions to cut, maintain, or boost members' oil production and is able to successfully predict OPEC meeting outcomes 66 percent of the time, between 1989 and 2019. Cyclical oil price fluctuations (as opposed to persistent shifts in levels) drive OPEC’s decisions, suggesting that OPEC's objective