Al-Shall report highlights global uncertainty impact on GCC economic growth

In its latest report, Al-Shall emphasizes that the escalating global uncertainty holds particular relevance for the Middle East region, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

The report takes into account the World Bank’s January 9 findings on their economic growth, contingent on the avoidance of further conflict in Gaza. The projections foresee modest economic growth rates for the six GCC nations in 2023, with the United Arab Emirates leading at approximately 3.4 percent and Saudi Arabia exhibiting a negative growth rate of -0.5 percent. Qatar and Bahrain fall in between at around 2.8 percent, followed by Oman at 1.4 percent, and Kuwait at 0.8 percent—largely attributed to diminished oil production, reports Al-Jarida daily.

Looking ahead, the report anticipates a continuation of subdued growth rates in 2024. Saudi Arabia is expected to lead with approximately 4.1 percent, trailed by the United Arab Emirates at 3.7 percent, Bahrain at 3.3 percent, Oman at 2.7 percent, Kuwait at 2.6 percent, and Qatar at 2.5 percent.

Projections for 2025 also see Saudi Arabia at the forefront with around 4.2 percent, followed by the UAE at 3.8 percent, Bahrain at 3.2 percent, Qatar at 3.1 percent, Oman at 2.9 percent, and Kuwait at 2.7 percent. Kuwait ranks lowest in terms of achieved and anticipated growth for the years 2023 and 2025, securing the second-to-last position for expectations in 2024.

While acknowledging that the growth landscape for Kuwait in 2023 is now history, the report suggests that future growth rates for 2024 and 2025 may improve under the guidance of a new public administration adept at managing the economy.

However, it cautions that these expectations hinge on effectively addressing the aftermath of the conflict in Gaza. Notably, since the report’s release, the conflict has expanded to include Yemen in the south, with the possibility of further escalation in the north and other areas.

The report laments the World Bank’s projection of a 6 percent contraction in the subsistence Palestinian economy in 2024, predominantly affecting Gaza and exacerbating the region’s instability.

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