UAE, Saudi Economies to Bounce Back in 2021, Says IMF

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The UAE’s economy will rebound 3.3 percent in 2021 as the Gulf economies grow after contracting as a result of the global coronavirus, according to a new economic outlook from the International Monetary Fund.

Collectively, the economies of the Middle East and North Africa are also expected to contract 3.3 percent before rebounding to 4.2 percent growth in 2021.

The UAE’s economy will contract 3.5 percent in 2020 amid the pandemic but is expected to grow 3.3 percent in 2021.

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Saudi Arabia’s economy is forecast to contract 2.3 percent in 2020, although non-oil GDP is expected to contract by 4 percent. In 2021, however, Saudi Arabia’s economy is expected to grow by 2.9 percent.

Regionally, this year’s economic performance will be the worst suffered since 1978, when a wave of unrest and strife lead to a 4.7 percent contraction.

With the exception of Egypt – which is expected to grow 2 percent – every country in the region will see GDP fall this year, the report added.

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The IMF, however, noted that “extreme uncertainty” surrounds the forecast because of the difficulties in predicting a variety of factors, particularly the pathways of COVID-19 and the success of efforts to contain the disease.


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