CAIRO: The International Monetary Fund has predicted a 5.3 percent rise in the oil activity of crude exporters of the Middle East and Central Asia in 2021.
In its latest regional economic outlook for the two regions, the Fund said oil output is likely to grow by 4.4 percent in 2022.
The growth will be driven by Libya’s soaring oil output and OPEC+ recovering production after August 2021, the report said.
The IMF said strong vaccination campaigns and rising oil prices will boost confidence in the non-oil sector of these countries. Non-oil output is expected to rise by 3.9 percent in 2021. Outlook for 2022 is also favorable as the sector is projected to grow by 3.4 percent.
While inflation is set to reach 12.9 percent in 2021 for the entire MENA region, GCC countries are expected to achieve much lower inflation rates, with consumer prices rising by only 2.8 percent.
The report also said the overall fiscal deficit as a share of the gross domestic product will reach 4.5 percent for the Middle East and North Africa in 2021 while Gulf countries’ deficit balance will only be 1.8 percent and is set to gradually fall to 0.4 percent in 2022.