- Exporters will see their current account surpluses increase
- Importers such as Egypt and Lebanon face larger deficits
- The decline in tourism receipts is also a factor
DUBAI, Oct.12 (Reuters) – The rebound in oil prices is widening economic gaps between oil exporters and importers in the Middle East and North Africa, said the Institute of International Finance (IIF).
The region is expected to grow 2.3% this year and 4.3% in 2022 after a consolidated contraction in gross domestic product of 3.8% last year, said IIR, a trade body for the global financial sector, in a report.
“As the economic recovery continues to accelerate, a split in the macroeconomic outlook has emerged in the region (…) the divergence in economic performance between oil-exporting and importing countries has widened further,” he said. -he declares.
Oil-producing countries are expected to post current account surpluses of $ 165 billion this year and $ 138 billion next year after a current account deficit of $ 6 billion last year based on price forecasts of the oil of $ 71 a barrel this year and $ 66 next year, the IIR said.
The foreign public assets of the Gulf countries – including foreign exchange reserves and sovereign wealth funds – are expected to reach more than $ 3 trillion by the end of 2022, or the equivalent of 170% of GDP.
In contrast, for regional oil importers Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan, aggregate current account deficits will rise to $ 35 billion this year from $ 27 billion. in 2020, largely due to rising oil import costs and low tourism receipts.
Foreign public assets among importers will equal 15.5% of GDP this year, the IIR said.
Tourism, which accounts for a large portion of these countries’ GDP, is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023.
âThe resumption of growth in 2022 in these countries will be driven by investment and exports. However, that will still be insufficient to significantly reduce high unemployment rates, on average 14%, with youth unemployment at 28% – the highest in the world, “It said.
Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; edited by Jason Neely
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