Saudi Arabia Leads Middle East, Central Asia in IMF Growth Projections

The International Monetary Fund released forecasts for the global economy in its world economic outlook, showing growth forecasts for 2022 and 2023. Saudi Arabia led in the IMF’s World Economic Outlook growth projections in the Middle East and Central Asia for 2022 and 2023. 

Saudi Arabia is the biggest economy in the Arab world and a world leader in exporting crude oil. Its economy is forecast to grow 7.6 percent after a 3.2 percent growth in 2021. In 2023, the IMF estimates the economy will grow another 3.7 percent in 2023. 

The outlook said the world could soon be teetering on the brink of recession amid evidence that the three biggest economies in the world are stalling and inflation is continuing to skyrocket. 

The latest update is a downbeat to its last update in April. The latest one cut its growth forecasts in 2022 and 2023 and raised the prospect of a more pronounced slowdown. Global inflation was revised due to food and energy prices, as well as supply-chain issues, the report said, and therefore needed to be adjusted. 

Issues in the United States, China, and Europe has resulted in the global output falling in the second quarter of 2022. It is the first contraction since the beginning of the Covid pandemic. 

The IMF said it now expects the global economy to grow by 3.2 percent in 2022, which is a 0.4 point reduction since the April report. The slowdown is expected to continue in 2023. 

The report said that all major economies in the world besides Saudi Arabia and Nigeria are expected to grow more slowly in 2023. 

Increasing prices are squeezing living standards around the world, and taming inflation should be the first priority for global policymakers, the IMF said. It said that tighter monetary policy will inevitably have real economic costs, but the delay will only exacerbate them. 

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