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World Bank forecasts 1.9% 2018 growth for Kuwait, 3.5% in 2019

GCC states projected to rise to 2.1% in 2018 and 2.7% in 2019

KUWAIT CITY, June 7: The World Bank has forecasted continued growth for Kuwait at 1.9 percent this year, rising to 3.5 percent in 2019 and falling to 3 percent by 2020, reports Al-Rai daily.

The World Bank report on the Middle East and North Africa stated the growth in the region is projected to strengthen to 3 percent in 2018 and to 3.3 percent in 2019, largely as oil exporters recover from the collapse of oil prices.

The growth among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states is anticipated to rise to 2.1 percent in 2018 and 2.7 percent in 2019, supported by higher fixed investments. Saudi Arabia is forecast to expand an upwardly revised 1.8 percent this year and 2.1 percent next year.

Iran is anticipated to grow 4.1 percent in 2018 and by the same amount in 2019. Oil importing economies are forecast to see stronger growth as business and consumer confidence gets a boost from business climate reforms and improving external demands.

Egypt is anticipated to grow 5 percent in Fiscal 2017/18 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018) and 5.5 percent the following fiscal year.

“If it can be sustained, the robust economic growth that we have seen this year could help lift millions out of poverty, particularly in the fast-growing economies of South Asia,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said.

“But the growth alone won’t be enough to address pockets of extreme poverty in other parts of the world. Policy-makers need to focus on ways to support growth over the longer run — by boosting productivity and labor force participation — in order to accelerate progress toward ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity,” he added.

Activity in advanced economies is expected to grow 2.2 percent in 2018 before easing to a 2 percent expansion rate next year, as central banks gradually remove monetary stimulus, the June 2018 Global Economic Prospects says.

The growth in emerging markets and developing economies overall is projected to strengthen to 4.5 percent in 2018, before reaching 4.7 percent in 2019 as the recovery in commodity exporters matures and commodity prices level off following this year’s increase.

This outlook is subject to considerable downside risks. The possibility of disorderly financial market volatility has increased, and the vulnerability of some emerging markets and developing economies to such disruption has gained momentum.

The trade protectionist sentiment has also mounted, while policy uncertainty and geopolitical risks remain elevated.

“The policymakers in emerging markets and developing economies need to be prepared to cope with possible bouts of financial market volatility as advanced-economy monetary policy normalization gets into high gear,” said World Bank Development Economics Prospects Director Ayhan Kose.

“The rising debt levels make countries more vulnerable to higher interest rates. This underlines the importance of rebuilding buffers against financial shocks,” he said.



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