The ‘Arab Spring effect’ on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has largely been hedged by rising crude prices, which will allow the GCC to continue with their fiscal expansion, if not increase it further, a new report says.
The report, titled Q3 MENA Outlook, was published today by Arabia Monitor, an independent research firm that provides analysis on the economies and financial markets of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region
It has today published its Q3 MENA Outlook, which covers the challenges and opportunities facing the region, individual countries, economies and financial markets; providing a panoramic view of what lies ahead in one of the most dynamic marketplaces in the increasingly volatile global economy.
Commentary and analysis is led by Dr Florence Eid, founder and CEO of Arabia Monitor. Macroeconomic snapshot from Q3 MENA Outlook: Arabia Monitor finds that
According to a media statement by Arabia Monitor, “for the GCC, on average, GDP delta year-on-year (YoY) has improved, especially fiscal balances, which should allow further subsidies to mitigate inflationary pressures.”
In the wider MENA region excluding the GCC, however, the report states that GDP growth has been negative. “However, for MENA ex-GCC, faltering GDP delta YoY and a deteriorating fiscal balance will, quite likely, lead to a less smooth transition. Despite subsidies and price controls, inflationary pressures, high unemployment and worsening fiscal balances will create rising debt burdens, with potential for prolonged periods of stagflation in Yemen, Tunisia and possibly Jordan,” it says.
Arabia Monitor, which includes in the report an interview with SAMA Governor Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser, expects the GCC Monetary Union to be operational over the next few years; however, the mandate and currency regime of GCC central bank remain under discussion. The UAE and Oman are expected to be part of the union, it says.
Dr Florence Eid, chief executive, of Arabia Monitor, said: “Despite the challenges presented by the tough market conditions and social unrest, the MENA region has successfully held its position as a growing emerging market. This reflects the region’s confirmed attractiveness as a business and financial market place.”