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The IMF defines the "engine of demonstrations" in Iraq and the region DinarDailyUpdates?bg=330099&fg=FFFFFF&anim=1

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The IMF defines the "engine of demonstrations" in Iraq and the region

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The IMF defines the "engine of demonstrations" in Iraq and the region Empty The IMF defines the "engine of demonstrations" in Iraq and the region

Post by RamblerNash on Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:30 am

The IMF defines the "engine of demonstrations" in Iraq and the region

The IMF defines the "engine of demonstrations" in Iraq and the region %D8%AA%D8%B8%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%A9

2019/10/28 06:56:05
 
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday that unemployment, along with sluggish economic growth, is the driving force of demonstrations in many Arab countries, at a time when Iraq, Lebanon and other countries are protesting against corruption and economic deterioration.

In a report on economic performance in the region, the IMF said social tensions in Arab countries are one of several factors that have kept economic growth in the region weak.

Two weeks ago, the IMF expected growth in the Middle East and North Africa to be only 0.1 percent, from 1.2 percent in April, reflecting weakness in the economies of a crisis-hit region.

Jihad Azour, the fund's director for the Middle East and Central Asia, told AFP that "the levels of growth in the countries of the region are lower than it is needed to deal with unemployment."

"We are in an area where the youth unemployment rate exceeds 25 to 30 percent, and to address this needs to grow between 1 and 2 percent."

Lebanon has witnessed more than ten days of mass demonstrations condemning corruption and economic deterioration, and demanding political change and job opportunities.

In Iraq, thousands are taking part in demonstrations for the same reasons, as part of a protest movement that has killed and injured hundreds. Demonstrations are taking place in Sudan, Algeria, Egypt and other countries.

The region has witnessed mass protests in 2011 called the "Arab Spring" to demand political and economic reforms, but it has collided with wars that broke out in Syria and Libya in particular.

Lebanon's economy is suffering from a sharp decline, a rising deficit and a trade imbalance.

Azour said that the government should "work quickly to rectify these imbalances and restore confidence (citizens) by reforming the financial situation and reducing spending."

The IMF also warned in a report on Monday that government debt rates have become very high in some countries in the region, exceeding the threshold of 85 percent of GDP as a general rate, and more than 150 percent in Lebanon and Iraq.

"The cost of debt is high, and it prevents the investments necessary for the region's long-term economic future," the IMF said.

A severe economic recession

This month, the IMF sharply lowered its growth forecast for Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two largest economies in the Middle East, on the back of US sanctions, regional tensions and falling oil prices.

The IMF predicted Iran's economy to contract by 9.5 percent in 2019 after forecasting a 6 percent contraction in April, with Saudi Arabia growing by 0.2 percent against a previous forecast of 1.9 percent.

This is the worst expected performance of the Iranian economy since 1984, when the Republic was at war with Iraq.

It is also the worst growth forecast for the rich kingdom since the Saudi economy shrank by 0.7 percent in 2017.

The IMF said in its report on Monday that the Iranian economy has entered a phase of "severe economic recession."

The 3 percent drop between April and October suggests a significant deterioration in Iran's economy since the United States began tightening sanctions on Iran's oil sector in May.

Iran's economy contracted in 2018 by 4.8 percent.

Saudi Arabia, one of the world's largest oil exporters, cut government subsidies on fuel, imposed taxes on foreigners working on its territory, a 5 percent value-added tax, and raised prices for soft drinks, energy drinks and tobacco.

At the end of September, Fitch announced a downgrade of Saudi Arabia's credit rating by one notch due to "geopolitical and military tensions in the Gulf region" after unprecedented attacks on two oil facilities in the kingdom.

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