Gulf Economies Recovering, but Oil Price Volatility Threatens to Weigh on Future Growth – IMF

A recently released report by the IMF found that economic growth in Gulf states will recover in 2018 from a contraction last year, but that future growth remains vulnerable to volatility in crude oil prices.

The global lender predicted that an overall energy price recovery from 2015-2016 lows would spur the economies of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to grow by 2.4 percent in 2018 and 3.0 percent in 2019, after a contraction of 0.4 percent last year.

However, growth “remains subject to significant uncertainty about the future path of oil prices,” the IMF said in its Regional Economic Outlook for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Saudi Arabia has prioritized the diversification of its economy away from oil as part of its Vision 2030 economic and social reform plans.

Oil prices have shed a fifth of their value in just one month, with Brent crude trading near its lowest price since April.

[Click here to download and read the full report from the IMF: Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia November 2018]