In this file photo taken on June 30, 2015 a logo is seen outside the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC. (PHOTO / AFP)
DUBAI – Economic growth in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia regions will slow in 2023, underlining the need to accelerate structural reforms, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday.
Real GDP growth in the Middle East and Central Asia is forecast to fall to 2.9 percent in 2023, from 5.3 percent last year, before improving to 3.5 percent in 2024, the IMF said in its Regional Economic Outlook report.
Growth in the Middle East and North Africa region will slow to 3.1 percent in 2023, from 5.3 percent a year ago, and to 4.2 percent in the Caucasus and Central Asian states from 4.8 percent last year.
Growth in Egypt is forecast to slow to 3.7 percent in 2023 from 6.6 percent in 2022 amid economic woes that led it to seek a $3 billion, 46-month financial support package from the IMF
"Uncertainties are high and there are a number of risks that are impacting the outlook for the region," IMF regional director Jihad Azour told Reuters.
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"Some risks are global, some are related to the risk of fragmentation, but some of it is due to the fact that a certain number of countries have a high level of debt," he said.
The report said that tight monetary and fiscal policies across the region and tight financial conditions "call for accelerating structural reforms to bolster potential growth and enhance resilience."
Growth in Egypt is forecast to slow to 3.7 percent in 2023 from 6.6 percent in 2022 amid economic woes that led it to seek a $3 billion, 46-month financial support package from the IMF.
The IMF forecast is more conservative than the 4 percent projected in a recent Reuters poll.
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"It is very important for a program that is set to be implemented over four years to anchor confidence by accelerating reforms, and also to maintain the discipline on the macroeconomic front, to make sure the attractiveness of the Egyptian economy for investors and the recovery of growth is taking shape," Azour said.