Growth in the Middle East and Central Asia is expected at 2.8% in 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said over its January update for the World Economic Outlook (WEO) report, adding that this projection is 0.1% lower than the October WEO.
Downgrade growth for 2020 mostly reflects a downward revision to Saudi Arabia’s projection on expected weaker oil output growth following the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC+) decision in December to extend supply cuts, the report explained.
Growth in the Middle East and Central Asia will firm up to 3.2% in 2021, the report said, noting that prospects for several economies remain subdued, owing to rising geopolitical tensions in Iran, social unrest in Iraq and Lebanon, and civil strife in Libya, Syria, and Yemen.
Global growth is projected to rise from an estimated 2.9% in 2019 to 3.3% in 2020 and 3.4% for 2021, a downward revision of 0.1% point for 2019 and 2020, and 0.2% for 2021, compared to those in October WEO.
The downward revision primarily reflects negative surprises to economic activity in a few emerging market economies, notably India, which led to a reassessment of growth prospects over the next two years.