In a recent report by MEED, Kuwait emerged as a frontrunner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s financial performance rankings, topping the list in various economic indicators.

The country secured the top spot in the Gulf and regionally in terms of the current account as a percentage of GDP, estimated at 30.3% in 2023, with a projected decrease to 27.7% in 2024.

However, Kuwait was also the sole GCC country to experience a slight negative growth in GDP for 2023, a marginal 0.6%, with an anticipated rise to 3.6% in 2024.

MEED highlighted the challenging economic landscape across the MENA region, attributing difficulties to geopolitical tensions and natural disasters in 2023. The war in Gaza and natural disasters in Morocco and Libya, have also affected the economies of the region. While most countries are poised for post-pandemic growth, particularly in the non-oil sector, Egypt and Tunisia face pressure for reforms to secure IMF financing.

“There was no significant growth in GDP this year, but the non-oil economy was surprisingly strong and flexible,” economist Jarmo Kutilin said in an interview with MEED.

Jarmo Kutilin emphasized the GCC’s potential for growth through integration of technology and energy efficiency. Noting the region’s low productivity levels, he stressed the need for selective and focused government spending.

The IMF’s projections indicate a slowdown in real GDP across MENA, primarily due to declining oil production and tightening monetary policies.

The World Bank notes a significant drop in per capita GDP growth, with only eight of 15 economies expected to return to pre-pandemic growth levels by the end of 2023.

Prospects for 2024 include an anticipated GDP growth of over 3% for the MENA region, although the IMF warns that this may not be sufficient to address the employment needs of the growing youth population.

Read Today's News TODAY... on our Telegram Channel click here to join and receive all the latest updates