Recent measures by the Central Bank of Egypt signal a shift in monetary policy toward supporting growth as inflation eases.
In Saudi Arabia, higher expenditure than revenue so far this year pushed H1 2019 accounts into a mild deficit of 0.2% of GDP. The overall deficit forecast for this year as a whole is projected at 4.2% of GDP.
The Lebanese government’s slow reform process and inability to pay its bills keep manifesting in mini-crises: the latest is over trash, and credit rating downgrades.
Chinese construction companies continue to win major contracts in MENA -- most recently in the UAE and Iraq -- despite competition from Europe and Asia.
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New Country Views
Growth recovery despite structural woes
Higher oil output should boost growth, but structural vulnerabilities, particularly high unemployment and a growing population, are being left unattended by the absence of any major legislative action.
The faltering of the Southern Iraq Integrated Project (SIIP) with US energy giant ExxonMobil reflects some of Iraq’s problems that need to be addressed.
Leaders in Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional capital Erbil have opened a fresh round of talks to resolve disputes over oil and territory, as new administrations in both cities look to reset their relationship.
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