Posted on May 5, 2011 by iMFdirect
By David Owen
(Version in Русский)
Medium-term economic growth prospects in the Caucasus and Central Asia region are strong. But, to secure ongoing prosperity, the eight countries of the region—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—will need to look beyond traditional sources of growth.
The challenge for policymakers will be to foster new and more diverse growth drivers, outside mining, oil, and gas.
There are seven policy pillars that can help them do that: Continue reading
Filed under: Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: bank financing, business environment, Caucasus and Central Asia, commodity prices, diversify growth, economic growth, foreign investment, global financial crisis, global recovery, governance, inequality, international trade, Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, regional integration, sustainable growth, trade liberalization, unemployment | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 11, 2009 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
Middle East oil exporters are squarely facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression head on. Despite the sharp drop in oil prices last year, the oil exporters rightly decided to maintain spending by drawing upon reserves amassed during the boom years.
High public spending and exceptional anticrisis financial measures have not only cushioned oil exporters’ own economies but are also contributing to sustaining global demand. They have also helped the interlinked economies of neighboring oil importers.
Facing this boom-bust cycle
Between 2004 and 2008, Middle East oil-exporting countries grew by about 6 percent a year and accumulated $1.3 trillion in foreign assets. With the striking drop in oil prices—from a peak of $147 per barrel in mid-2008 to around $30 per barrel at the beginning of 2009—the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been hardest hit. Iraq and Saudi Arabia are expected to see the most pronounced drops in oil GDP growth—8 and 15 percentage points, respectively—this year.
Despite sharp drop in oil prices last year, oil exporters rightly decided to maintain spending by drawing on reserves amassed during boom years (photo: Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images)
During the precrisis boom years, banks had lent substantial amounts for real estate and equity purchases and made large profits. With the onset of the crisis, asset values fell sharply and the global deleveraging led to a severe tightening of credit conditions, especially in the GCC. Banks’ balance sheets have come under pressure credit growth has slowed sharply—up to 40 percentage points in Qatar.
Filed under: Economic Crisis | Tagged: Algeria, bank financing, G-20, Iran, Iraq, Libya, oil exporters, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen | 1 Comment »