IMF eyes MENAs 2011 GDP growth at 4.1%, hit by spreading social unrest.

By bne IntelliNews April 12, 2011
The economies in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) are expected to post an overall growth of 4.1% in 2011, with spreading social unrest constraining growth prospects in several countries in the region, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its April 2011 World Economic Outlook. The GDP growth is projected to improve to 4.2% in 2012. The IMF said recovery prospects vary substantially across the region as in the group of oil exporters the GDP growth is projected at 4.9% this year, while in the group of oil importers the growth is expected at 1.9%. Qatar will be the strongest performer with a GDP rise of 20% in 2011, supported by expanding natural gas production and large investment expenditures. Egypts economy will expand by 1% this year, slowing down significantly from the 5% growth in the second half of 2010. Tunisias economy will slow down to 1.3% in 2011 on falling tourism revenue and foreign direct investments. The IMF expects MENA consumer price inflation to accelerate to 10% in 2011 but to ease to 7.3% in 2012. The overall current account surplus will widen to 12.7% of the GDP this year from 6.5% in 2010, driven in part by elevated energy export prices. The surplus is seen to shrink to 11.2% in 2012.

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