IMF economists remain hopeful over some outcomes from the Arab Spring while pulling back on other nations’ prospects.
The latest data from the agency pegs Egypt’s GDP at $276 billion in 2013, an increase from the estimate in April and a 23% jump from 2010, before things began to enravel for dictator Hosni Mubarak. Given the coverage of continued violence in Tahrir Square, and the bloody skirmishes in border areas, this economic growth track is a bit mysterious. The Muslim Brotherhood may have some special sauce.
Also up in the latest finding is Yemen, set to rise 13.5% in output in 2013 after more modest gains in the previous two years. This, too, might perplex those who read of persistent casualties from al-Qaida and drone strikes. But it should hearten US ambassador Gerald Feierstein, now touring these shores with 10 CEOs active in Yemen, touting the business prospects. Let us hope!
The IMF has shaded up Libya’s estimate for 2013 to $98 billion, a figure that would make as if the last five years didn’t happen. Of course, unpleasantness is still with us there, of a different nature from what it was under Moammar Qaddafi. But if these economists are right, there’ll be more grounds for stability.
Pity Bahrain, or at least its autocratic rulers, for their 2013 bounty is a billion dollars less in the latest IMF figuring. Which means it’s barely rising over two years, just better than the flat line in Tunisia, where the democratic flowering began. Jordan is shown inching forward.
Syria remains the blackest hole of the region, with no GDP calculations since 2010. It’s a grim situation when the gnomes of the world monetary fund–who earlier were higher on the Assad administration– cannot estimate trade in the bazaars (arms and otherwise). More seriously, what’s happening to Syrians is a travesty that the ordinary world cannot even put a price on.