The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Egypt’s exports to remain on an upward track, projecting a boom in the country’s tourism sector, alongside an increase in natural gas discoveries.
In a new report on its economic outlook for the Middle East region, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, released here Monday, the IMF predicted that Egypt’s current account deficit will decline by 2% of GDP by 2020.
“Meanwhile, growth for oil importers is projected to slow from 4.2 percent in 2018 to 3.6 percent this year, reflecting the slowing global economy and domestic factors. However, this aggregate projection does not reflect the wide variation among oil-importing countries. Egypt, for instance, continues to perform strongly, while weak growth in Pakistan weighs on the region’s aggregate growth rate,” the report said.
Meanwhile, the IMF forecasts that Arab countries will see a surge in growth rates from 2.8% in 2019 to 3.8% in 2020.
“Growth in oil importers of the MENAP region is projected to remain relatively modest, constrained by persistent structural rigidities. Elevated public debt in many countries limits the fiscal space needed for critical social and infrastructure spending and leaves economies vulnerable to less favorable financial conditions,” the report added.
“The outlook remains clouded by mounting global trade tensions and financial market uncertainty. Social tensions are rising in many countries as unemployment remains high and socioeconomic conditions worsen,” the report said.
“Continued growth-friendly fiscal consolidation is needed to rebuild buffers and enhance resilience, along with intensified structural and governance reforms to improve competitiveness, boost private investment, and generate jobs. Increased regional integration will also help support medium-term growth,” the report noted.