Posted on May 25, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
In the midst of an early and uncertain economic recovery from the global crisis, countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have been experiencing a sharp slowdown in the growth of credit to the private sector, by about 30 percentage points on average relative to precrisis peak rates.
For many sectors, firms, and households that depend on bank financing, this slowdown may be forcing them to scale back their spending plans, or to resort to scarce or costly alternative avenues for financing. Slow credit growth may therefore be constraining the strength of the recovery in the short run, in addition to limiting prospects for longer-term growth. Policymakers are understandably concerned.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic research, Financial Crisis, IMF | Tagged: balance sheets, bank funding, bank profitability, capital losses, countercyclical policy, credit culture, credit demand, credit growth, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, lending, liquidity, Morocco, nonperforming loans, private sector, Qatar, risk aversion, Saudi Arabia, supply side, UAE | 4 Comments »
Posted on April 1, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
After an unprecedented global economic downturn, recovery is beginning to take hold across the world. Nevertheless, the downturn has heightened the core challenges that countries faced before the crisis took hold. Among these, one that stands out in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa is youth employment—or a lack of it.
Simply put, the region is facing unparalleled demographic pressures. Population growth over the past two generations has been among the fastest in the world: the region’s work force is projected to reach 185 million in 2020, 80 percent higher than in 2000. And the region is one of the most youthful in the world—with about 60 percent of the population less than 25 years old.
But employment growth has lagged far behind the demands of growing populations, even when the region was experiencing good economic growth. Now with growth rates likely to be more modest after the crisis, the task of generating enough jobs for young men and women is becoming more challenging. Job creation must therefore be a top policy priority going forward.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Financial Crisis, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: Egypt, jobs, Middle East, Morocco, Pakistan, population growth, UAE, Youth Dialog, youth unemployment | 3 Comments »