Whole Economy PMIs (Feb.)

February’s whole economy PMIs suggests that activity in non-oil sectors in the Gulf has weakened amid the coronavirus outbreak. Efforts to contain the virus have escalated since the survey took place, and further weakness probably lies in store. Meanwhile, signs of building price pressures in Egypt add to the reasons to think that the central bank will wait until the middle of the year to resume its easing cycle.
James Swanston Middle East and North Africa Economist
Continue reading

More from Middle East

Middle East Economics Weekly

Omicron, tourism and the oil market

Low vaccine coverage and large tourism sectors mean that the non-Gulf economies are particularly vulnerable to the emergence of the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, the drop in oil prices and the likelihood that OPEC+ raises oil output more slowly than previously envisaged has increased the downside risks to our GDP growth forecasts for the Gulf.

2 December 2021

Middle East Economics Update

Saudi economy set for a strong end to the year

The economic recovery in Saudi Arabia has picked up pace and should end the year on a strong note. The emergence of the Omicron variant has clouded the outlook, but for now we expect economic growth in the Kingdom to strengthen in 2022 on the back of rising oil output.

2 December 2021

Middle East Chart Book

MENA and the Omicron risks

The Middle East and North African economies are potentially among the most vulnerable to the fallout from the Omicron strain of COVID-19. The North African economies as well as Lebanon and Jordan have low vaccination rates and large tourism sectors, leaving them exposed to the risk of tighter restrictions and curbs on international travel. In the Gulf, vaccination rates are much higher and, Dubai aside, tourism sectors are relatively small. But the fall in energy prices could prompt governments to hold off loosening fiscal policy. And producers may raise oil output more slowly, which would weigh on economic growth.

30 November 2021

More from James Swanston

Middle East Economics Update

Saudi: easing of restrictions paves way for H2 recovery

Saudi Arabia’s economy suffered a small downturn in Q1 and the recovery so far this quarter has been slow-going. But, with the vaccine roll out picking up pace and restrictions being relaxed, coupled with rising oil output, the recovery is likely to gather momentum over the second half of this year.

2 June 2021

Middle East Economics Weekly

Bahrain COVID-19 surge, Oman strikes, OPEC+ meeting

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Bahrain – which comes despite a rapid vaccine rollout – will delay its economic recovery and serves as a warning that other countries’ vaccination campaigns have much further to run. Elsewhere, protests in Oman over the past week prompted the government to row back on some of its austerity measures, which is likely to raise concerns about rising public debt and the dollar peg. Finally, next week’s OPEC+ meeting is likely to be a straightforward affair, but we will be keeping a close eye on any comments regarding how the cartel will potentially accommodate higher Iranian oil output.

27 May 2021

Middle East Economics Update

Tourism set for uneven recovery

Strong vaccine rollouts in the Gulf and Morocco have allowed for an easing of travel-related restrictions but there is still a long way to go and recoveries in tourism sectors are likely to be slow-going. And in the rest of the region, struggling vaccination programmes will further delay the re-opening of tourism sectors.

26 May 2021
↑ Back to top