The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its 2016 growth forecast for the Middle East and North Africa after a rebound in oil prices, informed World News Report. Along with Afghanistan and Pakistan, the MENA region is expected to witness an economic growth that stands at 3.4% in 2016 compared to a previous estimation of 3.1%. However, forecasts for 2017 were slashed to stand at 3.3%, down from 3.5% last April due to geopolitical turmoils spread across the region, according to The Express Tribune. IMF preserved its growth projection for OPEC top oil producer, Saudi Arabia, standing at 1.2% in 2016 and reaching 2% for 2017.
The IMF report said: “In the Middle East, oil exporters are benefiting from the recent modest recovery in oil prices while continuing fiscal consolidation in response to structurally lower oil revenues.” Additionally, it has praised the austerity measures and reforms taken by GCC members following the depression in oil prices that hit their economies, insisting that more needs to be done.