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

The latest projections from the IMF and Fitch Ratings suggest that Morocco’s twin deficits will turn a corner this year. In the fiscal sector, the government has demonstrated its commitment to reform by raising prices in September even though the process of re-building the ruling coalition was still on going, while Q2 2013 balance of payments data shows improvement in the current account, predicated on higher service sector receipts, stable net transfers and a modest improvement in the trade balance. Coupled with the social response to lower subsidies seemingly manageable thus far, this implies that risks of a downgrade may be lower. [CPI Financial]  

Political instability has caused Egypt’s economic competitiveness to tumble from 107th to 118th out of 148 countries, according to Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), an annual report issued by the World Economic Forum. The report attributed this decline to the country’s continued transitions since the events of the Arab Spring. “The deteriorating security situation and tenacious political instability are undermining Egypt’s competitiveness and its growth potential going forward,” the report said. Egypt’s rank has been in retreat over the last four years, falling from 70th position out of 133 countries from 2009 to 2010. [DNE]

The budget deficit that is expected to exceed EGP 1 billion is the major challenge facing the Jordanian economy, according to leading economist. Senator Jawad Anani, former Royal Court chief and minister, stressed that closing this deficit through foreign debt is not as easy as before and recommended that stakeholders sit together to come up with a long-term solution to exit Jordan from its economic dilemma. [Jordan Times]

The World Bank on Monday granted $1 million to Yemen to enhance partnership between the government and civil society organizations (CSOs). The grant’s agreement was signed in Sana’a by Deputy Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Mutahr al-Abassi and WB Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa Inger Andersen. [SABA]

Also of Interest:
Egyptian Ministry of Electricity attempting to overcome energy challenges | DNE
“The Egyptian – Gulf Investment Forum” scheduled for December 4-5  | Zawya DJ
Analysts optimistic despite 1.3 percent fall in EGX30 on Wednesday | Ahram
Wages and labor need urgent reform: Egyptian Minister of Planning | Cairo Post
Egypt-IMF talks stall won’t hurt relations: Minister of Planning | Amwal Al-Ghad
Former IMF advisor: Egypt does not need IMF loan now | Youm7
Omani, Yemeni businessmen seek to remove trade roadblocks | Oman Observer