EconSource: IMF revises upward its 2015 GDP Growth Forecast for Egypt to 3.8 Percent
In its regional economic outlook update,  the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its 2015 GDP growth forecast for Egypt 30 bps to 3.8 percent from the 3.5 percent announced in October. The reassessment is due to the sharp drop in oil prices reducing energy import bills for oil importers in the MENA region. According to Egypt’s finance minister, Egypt can expect economic growth “easily north of 4 percent” in the fiscal year 2014-15, boosted by rising confidence and a windfall from lower oil prices.

[Egypt Independent, 1/22/2015]

Yemen declares force majeure on LNG exports

Yemen has declared force majeure on liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries from its Balhaf plant due to deteriorating security following the collapse of the government. The 6.7 million tonne per annum Balhaf gas export terminal is run by France’s Total and ships LNG, primarily to Asia and to some European countries.  [Reuters, 1/23/2015]

Impact of lower oil prices on Jordan ‘neutral’

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Jordan’s gain from lower oil prices in 2015 to be only two percentage points of the gross domestic product. Officials from the IMF declared that the impact on the budget would be “neutral.” Jordan and other oil importing countries in the region, where remittances represent a major source of liquidity, could experience tighter liquidity conditions if cash transfers by expatriates decline. [The Jordan Times, 1/23/2015]

Algeria preserves subsidies despite revenue drop

As falling oil prices hurt Algeria’s financial equilibrium, the government is trying to reassure nervous citizens that social programs will remain intact. For now, members of the government say there will be no backtracking on social progress: programs covering housing, help for young entrepreneurs, and subsidies for mass consumption goods are safe. There are still 163.5 billion euros (16.8 trillion dinars) of foreign exchange reserves and a 4.8 billion euro (500 billion dinar) Liquidity Fund, providing a cushion for the economy even if only in the short term. [Magharebia, 1/23/2015]

Also of Interest:
Egypt will be attractive destination for foreign investment | Wall Street Journal
Egyptian banks to fund major power deal | Reuters
Morocco turns to expats to fuel growth | Magharebia
Iraqi PM warns falling oil price could hurt fight against Islamic State | Reuters
Larger chaos threatens as fighters seize branch of Libya’s Central Bank | NYT