Udayavni Special

Mideast loses $270 bn oil income amid virus, recession: IMF


Team Udayavani, Jul 13, 2020, 7:03 PM IST

Dubai: The Middle East’s energy producers are expected to earn $270 billion less in oil revenue compared to last year as the region’s economic heavyweight, Saudi Arabia, sinks deeper into recession amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the International Monetary Fund’s outlook released on Monday.

The international lender expects an overall economic contraction of 7.3% in Mideast oil-exporting countries this year due to hits from the coronavirus outbreak and oil market turmoil. The contraction is 2% greater than the IMF’s initial projections in mid-April.

“We are in a year like no other and therefore developments are very fast and coping with them is challenging for everyone,” Jihad Azour, director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia department, told The Associated Press.

The IMF had projected in April that Saudi Arabia’s economy would contract by about 2.3% this year. It has since revised that figure downward, saying the kingdom stands to see economic growth shrink by 6.8% before climbing to around 3% growth next year.

In addition to lower crude prices and cuts to production, Saudi Arabia stands to lose billions of dollars in revenue because the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca is suspended due to the pandemic.

For the first time in Saudi history, the hajj pilgrimage this month, which drew 2.5 million people last year, will not include pilgrims from outside the kingdom. To raise state revenue, Saudi Arabia tripled taxes on basic goods and services this month, increasing value-added tax to 15%.

There are massive challenges across the region, including in Lebanon, where inflation has mushroomed to 56% over the past year and where the currency has lost nearly two-thirds of its value.

The most current IMF forecast predicts a 12% economic contraction this year in the small Mediterranean country, which hosts large populations of Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

The IMF has held more than a dozen meetings with Lebanese authorities over a $10 billion loan request. The IMF says it is still working to assess the country’s financial losses as different arms of the government offer diverging figures.
Additionally, Iran is struggling to manage the outbreak of the virus there as officials refuse to impose lockdown measures that would further rattle its economy battered by US sanctions.

Since the start of the year, the IMF has approved about $17 billion in emergency loans to countries in the Middle East and the wider region, including $5.2 billion for Egypt and nearly $1.4 billion for Pakistan.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Legitimacy cannot be derived from mass violence, brutal intimidation: Jaishankar

Would PM be happier if I used ‘dhokla’ instead of ‘papri-chaat’, says TMC’s Derek O’ Brien

Leave Pujara alone, it’s for individuals to figure drawbacks in their game: Captain Kohli

HC notice to Yediyurappa, son, relatives & former minister in corruption case

State govt extends last date to pay property tax till Aug 31

US approves Harpoon missile deal with India worth USD 82 million

PM Modi to invite Olympic contingent to Red Fort on August 15, to interact with them at his residence


Related Articles More

Taliban take much of provincial capital in south Afghanistan

Turkey’s Erdogan faces mounting criticism over wildfires

China orders mass testing in Wuhan as COVID-19 outbreak spreads

Pak PM’s party wins 6 out of 8 reserved seats in PoK assembly

UN creates permanent body to address challenges of racism

MUST WATCH

Molested, Guwahati woman drags man riding scooter into drain

Aravind bella fans pray

Shridhar Bhat | Man who carried the deity in processions more than 1,000 times

Kerala covid case increase : Strict inspection at talapady

Vivekananda HK | Walking across Karnataka to ‘revive human values

Latest Additions

Legitimacy cannot be derived from mass violence, brutal intimidation: Jaishankar

Would PM be happier if I used ‘dhokla’ instead of ‘papri-chaat’, says TMC’s Derek O’ Brien

Football Delhi celebrates Chhetri’s birthday by launching ”37-plus League”

Leave Pujara alone, it’s for individuals to figure drawbacks in their game: Captain Kohli

23,676 new coronavirus cases, 148 more deaths in Kerala

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.