Growth in ME to exceed 3pct, says World Bank | Business | Ammon News



Growth in ME to exceed 3pct, says World Bank


[4/17/2018 4:13:11 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The World Bank has said that it expects economic growth in the Middle East edge up to 3.1 percent in 2018, up from 2 percent in 2017, according to the bank's latest Middle East and North Africa Economic Monitor, published yesterday.

The increase in growth is expected to be broad-based, driven by a favorable global economic environment, stability in the oil market at slightly higher prices, and the resumption of post-conflict reconstruction, the report stated.

"There are grounds for optimism," said World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region, Hafez Ghanem.

"Now is the time to focus on creating more jobs and economic opportunities for youth. The positive outlook is an opportunity to speed up reforms for a renewed private sector as an engine of growth and job creation," Ghanem added.

On the back of a good performance by Gulf Cooperation Council countries, oil exporters could see growth reach 3 percent in 2018, double the rate in 2017. Growth among oil importers is expected to increase to 4 percent on average from 2018 to 2020, driven by a sharp rebound in Egypt and a rise in remittances, tourism and exports, the report expected.

It said: "Almost all countries in the region have embarked on major reforms to reduce or eliminate energy subsidies, identify new sources of non-oil revenues, and expand social safety nets to shield the poor from adverse effects of change." "While stabilization policies have helped economies adjust in recent years, we need much faster growth to absorb the hundreds of millions of young people who will enter the labor market in the coming decades," said World Bank Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa Region, Rabah Arezki.

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