DUBAI – Middle East Region To See Worst Economic Fall In Decades. The International Monetary Fund IMF, on Tuesday, said that the Middle East and North Africa economy will contract by 3.3 percent this year. This is the biggest slump the regions economies in four decades. It is due to the coronavirus and low oil prices.
According to details, in its World Economic Outlook, the IMF said the damage would be much worse than the region’s last major shock in the 2008-09 global financial crisis. The region, which includes all Arab countries and Iran, will suffer its worst economic performance since 1978. It is when it shrank by 4.7 percent, according to World Bank data.
IMF said that all Arab countries except Egypt will see their gross domestic product (GDP) fall this year. Saudi Arabia, the region’s heavyweight is up for a 2.3 percent contraction. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is just emerging from an oil price war with Russia that saw crude prices crash.
The IMF further said that there is a fast deterioration of the global economic outlook as the epidemic has spread. Along with the breakdown of the OPEC+ agreement among oil suppliers. Both of which have weighed heavily on commodity prices.
Meanwhile, OPEC producers and allies reached on an agreement on Sunday to cut output by nearly 10 million barrels per day, the largest in history. From mid-January to end-March, oil prices dropped by 65 percent or $40 a barrel and natural gas prices declined by 38 percent, the IMF said. It also projected prices to remain below $45 a barrel through 2023, around 25 percent below the average last year.
Middle East Region To See Worst Economic Fall In Decades.