Delta variant poses biggest threat to non-Gulf economies

Concerns about the Delta variant of COVID-19 have grown over the past week but high vaccine coverage in the Gulf means that policymakers are unlikely to resort to harsh containment measures. Other parts of the region are more susceptible, adding to the reasons to think that recoveries there will lag behind in the coming years.
Jason Tuvey Senior Emerging Markets Economist
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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 Jason Tuvey

Africa Economics Weekly

South Africa after the unrest

There are signs that the worst of the violence and unrest that has gripped South Africa this week may be over. Any hit to economic activity is unlikely to be long-lasting but the risk that the government’s austerity plans are watered down has increased.

16 July 2021

Emerging Europe Economics Update

CBRT in no rush to lower interest rates

Turkey’s central bank (CBRT) left interest rates on hold at 19.00% today and, with inflation set to rise further in July from a two-year high last month and the economy bouncing back quickly from the three-week lockdown in May, we think that an easing cycle is unlikely to begin until late this year.

14 July 2021

Africa Economics Update

Assessing the impact of the unrest in South Africa

There is clearly a lot of uncertainty over how the protests in South Africa in recent days will develop but there are reasons to think that the impact on economic activity will be towards the milder end of the spectrum. Perhaps a bigger risk is that the protests signal broader discontent with the current weakness of the economy, limiting the government’s ability to push through austerity and put the public debt position back on to a sustainable path.

13 July 2021
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