EconSource: IMF Cuts Arab Growth Forecast, But Sees Gulf Still Strong

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

The IMF has lowered its economic growth forecasts for most Arab countries over unrest in the region but said growth would remain generally strong in the oil-rich Gulf states. In its semi-annual World Economic Outlook released today, the IMF said the MEAN region would grow by 2.6 percent this year, compared with 3.2 percent forecast in April. And even though the figure for next year is seen as higher, it was cut from 4.5 percent to 3.8 percent. [AFP]

The Tunisian government and the opposition are locking horns over workers’ wages. No negotiations on raising salaries will be held in 2014, according to Tunisian government spokesperson Nidhal Ouerfelli. The issue will be handled by the government to be formed after the upcoming elections, he explained. But the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) is eager to see action now, not next year. [Magharabia, Al-Mal (Arabic)]

The inflation rate reached 5.6 percent in September 2014, dropping for the second consecutive time by 0.2 points, from 5.8 percent in August and 6 percent in July, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS). [TAP, Kapitalis (French)]

Egypt will sign a trade and industry cooperation agreement with Kuwait in November, state news agency MENA reported on Tuesday, citing the Egyptian minister of industry and trade. The agreement, which aims to boost mutual trade and investment, will be signed in the Kuwaiti capital. [Ahram Online]

Also of Interest:
Egypt business activity grows at near-record pace in September | Reuters
Blog: IMF cozies up to Egypt amid economic reform | WSJ
Op-ed: Tunisia—An economy on the brink of failiure | Kapitalis (French)