IMF cuts 2014 growth forecast for Middle East

Downward revision due to expectation that the rebound in Libya oil output will slow

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its growth forecast for the Arab world, despite the global economy being expected to pick up in 2014.

Growth in the Middle East and North Africa, along with Afghanistan and Pakistan, is expected to stand at 3.3 percent this year – lower than the 3.6 percent the IMF forecast in October.


“Downward revisions to growth in 2014 in the Middle East and North Africa region mainly reflect expectations that the rebound in oil output in Libya after outages in 2013 will slow,” the IMF said in a summary of its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report.

Despite the gloomier picture for the Arab world, the IMF said the outlook for the global economy was more encouraging.

Global growth is expected to stand at 3.7 percent in 2014, slightly higher than the 3.6 percent it forecast in October. That will rise to 3.9 percent in 2015, the IMF said.

“There will be more growth rotation from emerging market economies to advanced economies in 2014–15,” said Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist and director of the IMF’s Research Department.

The world economy grew by 3.1 and 3.0 percent in 2012 and 2013 respectively, according to IMF data.

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