Middle East economic trends to 2019 according to the IMF

The IMF’s world economic outlook database updated for the fund’s spring meetings in April for the first time includes forecasts for 2019. it also again excludes any projections for Syria, a reflection of uncertainty about what happen next in the country (for all figures go to The IMF forecast shows the aggregate GDP of the 16 Middle East states covered by MEED will grow to about $4.3trn in 2019. About 49 per cent of this will be due to the six GCC states. The GCC plus Iran and Iraq will account for about 70 per cent of Middle East GDP at that point. The radical differences in GDP per capita will persist. In 2019, Qatar will be forecast to have GDP per capita of $105,000. Yemen’s will be less than $2,000. The six GCC states will continue to have the highest GDP per capita .

Growth in 2014-19 The IMF forecast shows Libya recording the highest rate of growth in 2014-19. The top five growth markets are outside the GCC. Qatar is forecast to be the highest-growth GCC market followed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Aggregate current account IMF figures show that the 16 countries MEED covers will record an aggregate current account surplus of $1.1trn in 2014-19. Eight countries will have surpluses (GCC+Iran and Iraq). The rest will be in deficit. The aggregate current account deficit in Egypt is forecast to be more than $100bn.

Edmund O’Sullivan