A survey expected that GCC’s economic growth will accelerate this year at a pace not seen in the past ten years, yet pointing out that high inflation and a slowdown in the global economy are the biggest risks to these economies.
The Reuters poll reflecting economists’ views expected that the overall growth of the six GCC economies would average 5.9 percent this year, the fastest pace since 2012.
The World Bank expects the economies of the Gulf states to grow at a rate of 4.7 percent in the current year 2022, and decrease to 2.9 percent for the next year.
The Arab Monetary Fund had expected a few days ago a rise in the growth rate of the economies of the GCC in 2022 to reach about 5.8 percent. It also expected the GCC countries to achieve a surplus in their combined budget this year.
For Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, and the world’s leading exporter of crude oil, about 80 percent of respondents, or 17 out of 22, raised their expectations compared to the previous poll in January.
Participants in the survey, which was conducted from April 12 to 22, expected the Saudi economy to grow at 6.3 percent in 2022, up from 5.7 percent that was expected three months ago, but followed by a decline to 3.2 percent next year.
If that happens, growth in 2022 will be the fastest since 2011 when the average oil price averaged around $111 a barrel.
The expected growth in Kuwait stood at 6.4 percent, and in the UAE 5.6 percent, the fastest in about ten years.
Meanwhile the expected growth for Qatar, Oman and Bahrain came at about 4 percent, the fastest in several years.
The economies of the region’s countries were severely affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus during the year 2020, as the closures related to the virus, the faltering of the trade sector and the tourism sector coincided with the decline in the prices of crude oil, which is its main source of income.