2019-10-16 | 03:19
[size=18]The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised the growth forecast for Iraq, while reducing it to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and Kuwait.
Growth in Iraq , the region's second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia , is expected to pick up after its economy contracted by 0.6 percent last year, the IMF said in its new World Economic Outlook .
The IMF 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 fund said it is expected that the "economy shrinks Iran this year by 9.5% in the US under crippling sanctions, while growth expectations fell in Saudi Arabia to 0.2%, down from a previous forecast at 1.6 in April and 1.9 in July."
Nonetheless, the IMF said Saudi Arabia's economic growth next year is likely to reach a threshold of 2.2%, amid ongoing reforms in the kingdom that will help its non-oil sector gain strength in 2020.