World Bank says MENA economies to grow 2.3% this year.

By bne IntelliNews January 20, 2012
Economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will grow by 2.3% this year, speeding up from 1.7% estimated for 2011, the World Bank said in the latest edition of its Global Economic Prospects report. Growth in the MENA region is expected to further accelerate to 3.2% in 2013 with the revival of traditional revenue streams (tourism and remittances), increase in FDI and resolution of civil unrest in several countries. The bank expects the GDP growth in the oil importing countries to increase from 1.8% in 2011 to 2.5% in 2012 and to 3.6% and 2013. Overall, the MENA region is highly impacted by the escalation of the European crisis through its trade links, tourism arrivals, migrant remittances, and to a lesser degree, finance. The net oil importers are particularly vulnerable, with the EU taking up to 80% of Tunisias exports, 65% of Moroccos exports and 40% of Egypts exports. The report predicts the region would continue to feel the effects of slower European growth. In addition, given the existing challenges in many MENA countries, a global downturn will be felt more severely now than in 2008-09, when the economic growth in the region was relatively healthy. In contrast, developing oil exporters in MENA can deal better with the crisis, provided they are not in internal conflict and the oil prices do not fall significantly due to declining demand.

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