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IMF: Unemployment and slow economic growth are driving the demonstrations

rocky
rocky
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IMF: Unemployment and slow economic growth are driving the demonstrations Empty IMF: Unemployment and slow economic growth are driving the demonstrations

Post by rocky on Tue 05 Nov 2019, 2:56 am

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[size=52]IMF: Unemployment and slow economic growth are driving the demonstrations[/size]

[size=45]AP
[size=45]Unemployment along with sluggish economic growth has driven demonstrations in several Arab countries, the IMF said, as Iraq, Lebanon and other countries are protesting against corruption and economic decline.[/size]
[size=45]Social tensions in Arab countries are one of several factors that have kept economic growth in the region weak, the IMF said in a report on economic performance in the region.[/size]
[size=45]The IMF had earlier predicted 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-ridden region.[/size]
[size=45]"Growth levels in the region are lower than they need to deal with unemployment," Jihad Azour, the fund's director for the Middle East and Central Asia, told AFP.[/size]
[size=45]"We are in an area where youth unemployment exceeds 25 to 30 percent, and to tackle this needs growth between 1 and 2 percent," he said.[/size]
[size=45]Lebanon has been witnessing for more than fifteen days mass demonstrations condemning corruption and economic deterioration, and demanding political change and job opportunities.[/size]
[size=45]In Iraq, thousands are taking part in demonstrations for the same reasons, as part of a protest movement that has killed and wounded hundreds. Demonstrations are taking place in Sudan, Algeria, Egypt and other countries. The region has witnessed massive protests in 2011 called the “Arab Spring” to demand political and economic reforms, but it has clashed 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.[/size]
[size=45]Azour said that the government should "work quickly to rectify these imbalances and restore confidence (citizens) by reforming the financial situation and reducing spending."[/size]
[size=45]The IMF also warned in a report on Monday that government debt rates have become too high in some countries in the region, exceeding the 85 percent threshold for GDP as a whole, and more than 150 percent in Lebanon and Iraq.[/size]
[size=45]“The cost of debt is high, and it prevents the investments necessary for the region's long-term economic future,” the IMF said.[/size]
[size=45]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.[/size]
[size=45]The IMF predicted Iran's economy to contract by 9.5 percent in 2019 after forecasting a 6 percent contraction in April, with the Saudi economy to grow 0.2 percent against a previous forecast of 1.9 percent.[/size]
[size=45]This is the worst expected performance of the Iranian economy since 1984, when the Islamic Republic was at war with Iraq.[/size]
[size=45]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 period of "severe economic recession."[/size]
[size=45]A 3 percent drop in forecasts 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.[/size]
[size=45]Saudi Arabia, one of the world's top oil exporters, has 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.[/size]
[size=45]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.[/size]


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