Gulf economies to expand 4.4% in 2014, says IMF

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The economies of the six Gulf Arab monarchies will expand by 4.4 percent in 2014, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Saturday, raising its earlier forecast for the oil-rich bloc.

The aggregate economic growth in 2013 for the Gulf Cooperation Council will be at 3.7 percent, said Nemat Shafik, the IMF deputy managing director, in a meeting with the finance ministers of the member states in Riyadh.

The “GCC has continued to be one of the most performing economies,” she said, adding that “the growth is 3.7 percent this year [and] 4.4 percent next year, after an exceptional growth of 6.4 percent in the last two years.”

The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Oil and gas receipts represent the bulk of their revenues.

The IMF published its economic forecast for the Middle East and North Africa region in May, with the combined growth for GCC members projected to stand at 3.7 percent for 2013 and 3.78 percent for 2014.

The “contribution of your economies to the international economy is vital,” Shafiq said, addressing GCC representatives.

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