Predicting Growth in the Middle East and North Africa in Uncertain Times

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This edition of The World Bank’s MENA Economic Update estimates that economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will grow by 5.2% in 2022, the fastest pace since 2016. However, uncertainty reigns with the unpredictable course of the war in Ukraine and scientific uncertainty about the evolutionary path of the virus that causes COVID-19. Economic recovery may be uneven as regional averages mask large differences between countries. Oil producers could benefit from high energy prices as well as higher vaccination rates for COVID-19, while fragile countries lag behind. GDP per capita, which is a more accurate measure of people’s standard of living, barely exceeds pre-pandemic levels due to poor performance for most countries in 2020-21. If these predictions materialize, 11 of the 17 MENA economies may not return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.

In times of uncertainty, it is important not to be overly confident about the region’s growth prospects. Simply put, forecasts are most useful when uncertainty prevails. As its title suggests, this edition specifically examines the reliability of various economic forecasts over the past decade, including those provided by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the private sector. Researchers find that growth forecasts over the past decade have been overly optimistic and are often inaccurate due to a lack of timely and transparent data. In the current context of global and regional uncertainty, it is even more important to obtain the most accurate forecasts possible.

To view each country’s economic growth notes, click below

Bahrain | Djibouti | Egypt|Iran|Iraq|Jordan|Kuwait|Lebanon|Libya|Morocco|Oman|Palestinian territories|Qatar|Saudi Arabia|Syria|Tunisia|United Arab Emirates|Yemen|

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