Bahrain gets Gulf support, new gas discovery in Egypt?

The announcement on Wednesday that Bahrain is in talks with the other Gulf countries over financial support reinforces our view that, despite recent worries in the markets, its dollar peg won’t be abandoned.
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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

Middle East Data Response

Saudi Arabia Consumer Prices (Dec.)

Saudi inflation edged up to 1.2% y/y in December and we think that the headline rate will drift a little higher over the first half of this year before stabilising at around 1.0-1.5% over the rest of 2022 and 2023. Drop-In: Neil Shearing will host an online panel of our senior economists to answer your questions and update on macro and markets this Thursday, 13th January (11:00 ET/16:00 GMT). Register for the latest on everything from Omicron to the Fed to our key calls for 2022. Registration here.

13 January 2022

Middle East Economics Update

What to expect in MENA in 2022

We think that GDP growth in the Gulf will be stronger than most expect this year on the back of rising oil output. Elsewhere, we expect a larger depreciation of the Egyptian pound than most anticipate and, if anything, there is a growing risk of an even sharper adjustment. Meanwhile, Tunisia will continue along the path towards a sovereign default. And bad loans look set to rise in banking sectors in Qatar and the UAE, causing credit conditions to tighten.

12 January 2022

More from Capital Economics Economist

Emerging Europe Economics Update

What should we make of Russia’s data revisions?

The upwards revisions to Russia’s industrial production figures have raised concerns about the quality of the data but, based on the figures released so far, the new series does seem to reflect economic conditions more accurately than the older series.

29 June 2018

Middle East Economics Update

Egypt rates on hold, easing cycle to resume in September

The Egyptian central bank’s decision to leave interest rates on hold (rather than lower rates) was a response to recently-announced subsidy cuts that will push up inflation. But the easing cycle is likely to resume at September’s MPC meeting. And we still think interest rates will, ultimately, be lowered by more than most analysts expect over the next couple of years.

28 June 2018

Energy Focus

Is the sun setting on the oil market?

Slowing economic growth and rapidly rising fuel efficiency, partly due to a surge in the number of electric vehicles, mean that growth in demand for oil will slow and eventually peak over the next twenty years. At the same time, plentiful oil reserves mean that supply should be ample. Indeed, the marginal cost of production is likely to fall as OPEC loses its pricing power and advances in shale technology force more expensive forms of production out of the market. As a result, we expect real oil prices to trend down over the next two decades.

28 June 2018
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