Economy IMF sees MENA 2022 growth at 5%, as GCC outperforms peers By Reuters October 14, 2022 REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan IMF funding is often the sole financial lifeline available to countries in a debt crunch and key to unlocking other financing sources The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects Middle East and North African GDP will grow by five percent this year, up from 4.1 percent in 2021, before slowing to 3.6 percent in 2023 as global conditions worsen, a senior official said on Thursday. Inflation in MENA was projected to average 14.2 percent in 2022 and to remain high next year, driven by food and energy prices. GDP growth among the oil exporting nations that benefit from expensive oil will outperform, the official said. The region had resisted a “confluence of shocks” such as volatile commodity markets, a global slowdown and a tightening of global financial conditions, Jihad Azour, director for the Middle East and Central Asia department at the IMF, told a news conference. But he said the “multi-speed recovery” of 2022 will slow as “the worsening of global conditions will weigh on the outlook for next year”. Regional oil exporters, comprising the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, are expected to outperform peers with projected growth at 5.2 percent this year boosted by high oil prices and robust nominal GDP growth to help offset global headwinds. Here too, Azour said economic activity would slow next year as OPEC+ output cuts take effect, and oil prices decline, and global oil demand decreases.