Saudi GDP (Q2)

GDP growth in Saudi Arabia slowed further to 0.5% y/y in Q2 and, in quarter-on-quarter terms, the economy officially entered recession. The slowdown reflected a greater drag from oil output cuts, which more than offset stronger growth in the non-oil sector. Annual growth appears to have weakened again in Q3 and we think that it will continue to do so into Q4.
Jason Tuvey Senior Emerging Markets Economist
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Middle East Economic Outlook

Gulf to drive a pick-up in regional growth in 2022

The recovery across the Middle East and North Africa is likely to gather pace this year, due in large part to the Gulf where rising oil output will cause GDP growth to pick up to rates well above current consensus expectations. Recoveries elsewhere are likely to lag behind amid a slow return of tourists and fiscal austerity. In Tunisia, though, fiscal consolidation is unlikely to be enough to avoid a sovereign default. Elsewhere, we think that concerns about Dubai’s corporate debt could resurface this year too.

25 January 2022

Middle East Economics Weekly

Oil prices, UAE drone attack, Gulf monetary tightening

The recent upwards revision to our oil price forecast means that the window for looser fiscal policy in the Gulf will remain open for a little longer than we anticipated. One of the factors driving oil higher this week was the Houthi drone strike in the UAE, which highlighted the risks to the Emirates’ recovery – particularly the tourism sector. Finally, central banks in the Gulf will have to follow the Fed in tightening monetary policy – which now seems likely to start in March. That will add a headwind to non-oil sectors.

20 January 2022

Middle East Economics Weekly

Oil and Gulf fiscal policy, Egypt joins GBI-EM, Tunisia

We think that the recent rally in oil prices is likely to be short lived and, as prices fall back, the window for governments in the Gulf to loosen fiscal policy will shut. Elsewhere, Egypt’s inclusion in JP Morgan’s GBI-EM bond index at the end of the month could boost capital inflows, but also cause external imbalances to increase. Finally, despite some support from Saudi Arabia this week, the Tunisian government will still need to pass much-needed fiscal consolidation to repair its balance sheets. Otherwise, it will continue to edge closer to a sovereign default.

13 January 2022

More from Jason Tuvey

Middle East Economics Update

Iran: nuclear deal, elections and the economy

Negotiators appear to be closing in on an agreement to revive Iran’s nuclear deal which, if revitalised, would provide a substantial lift to Iran’s economy – it could plausibly expand by 8-10% per year in 2021-23. Higher Iranian oil output would act as a drag on global oil prices and could prompt governments in the Gulf countries to keep fiscal policy tight, weighing on their recoveries.

7 June 2021

Emerging Europe Economics Weekly

Erdogan piles on the pressure, Israel’s surprise coalition

Talk this week of rate cuts in Turkey has led to further falls in the lira and, ironically, means that the central bank will stand pat at this month's MPC meeting. In Israel, the coalition proposal formed to topple incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu is so fractured we don't think it will lead to major changes in economic policy. Finally, the announcement by Russia's government to de-dollarise its National Wealth Fund assets won't have an economic impact, but it is a clear move ahead of the Biden-Putin summit this month that Russia sees its future as isolated from the West.

4 June 2021

Emerging Europe Data Response

Turkey Consumer Prices (May)

The latest falls in the lira mean that, despite the fall in Turkey’s headline inflation rate to 16.6% y/y last month, the central bank (CBRT)will probably leave interest rates unchanged at this month’s MPC meeting. But the CBRT is likely to fulfil the president’s desire for monetary loosening by August.

3 June 2021
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