Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

The World Bank’s biannual Global Economic Prospects Report released this week predicted Egypt’s GDP growth rate to increase from an estimated 2 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014 and 3.3 percent in 2016. This expected growth rate would be the highest since 2010 (about 5.1 percent), but is still much lower than Egypt’s potential or pre-revolutionary growth rates. The report stated that Egypt’s economy has been down in the past year, with industrial output falling by 44 percent in three months through October, and a fall in FDI net inflows by about 14.5 percent. [DNE]
Unemployment in Jordan reached 11 percent during the fourth quarter of 2013, a drop of 3 percent compared to the third quarter of the same year. A study by the government run agency, Department of Statistics, revealed that the highest rate of unemployment was among holders of high degrees, who constituted 56.6 percent of the total unemployed people. Authorities attribute the decline in unemployment rate to recent increase in foreign investment, which lead to creation of more jobs.  [ANSAmed]
Libya’s draft Public Private Partnerships (PPP) entitled “Transition to a PPP model” was revealed at a workshop on PPPs in Tripoli yesterday. The demand for a PPP law is evident by the fact that the competition for Libya’s state budget (LD 66.86 billion in 2013) from other non-development sectors is high, which in reality leaves very little left over for development and infrastructure investment. [Libya Herald]
MENA countries post mixed performance in 2014 Index of Economic Freedom
MENA countries reported a mixed performance in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom prepared by the US-based Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal as some states improved their rankings and others lost several spots. The score is on a scale from 0 (least free) to 100 (most free). Bahrain remained the region’s best performer ranking 13th worldwide out of 178 countries. Egypt was the biggest loser, dropping 1.9 points. [HF]
Also of Interest:
Egypt may receive an additional $6 billion from Gulf countries: Dcode | DNE
Egyptian gov’t striving to restructure energy subsidies: Assistant to minister of finance | DNE
Opinion: Will Egypt’s new constitution mean anything for the economy? | Al-Bawaba
Islamic banking remains unpopular in Egypt: Gallup poll | DNE
Jordan year in review 2013 | OBG, JNA
Jordan: Lower House holds second day of budget debate | JNA
Jordan plans for ‘quantum leap’ in tourism sector | Al-Monitor
Yemen: Law ratifying $35 million loan agreement issued | SABA