IMF: Economic growth for the Gulf States will not exceed 1.8% this year

By Shunem Abdullah Khoshnaw

3 hours ago

Roudao - Erbil

The IMF stressed that the Gulf countries to diversify their sources of revenue and shrinking expenses, in order to cope with the continuing decline in oil prices.

The fund said on Monday that the outlook for economic growth in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar) this year will not exceed 1.8%, down from 3.3% in 2015.

The Regional Director of the Fund in the Middle East Masood Ahmed, "with the continuing decline in oil prices this year, we may see a drop of oil export revenues by more than $ 100 billion or more."

The IMF report warned that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman will have to borrow between 2016 and 2021, under the financial needs exceed cash reserves.

He said the IMF that oil prices have fallen about 70% since mid-2014 to almost $ 40 a barrel, adding that markets expect a rise in prices is limited to up to $ 50 a barrel by the end of this decade.