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Global Economic Prospects 2017: Middle East

Recent developments: Growth in the Middle East and North Africa region is estimated to have slowed to 2.7% in 2016, reflecting fiscal consolidation in some countries and oil production constraints in others.

The failed ceasefire in Syria, the ongoing war in Yemen, the fight in Iraq against the Islamic State group, and the political crisis in Libya were part of a continued cycle of conflict in the region that has led to mass displacement, loss of life, and destruction of infrastructure. Cross-border spillovers in the form of disrupted trade, fiscal pressures from spending demands related to refugees and security, and loss of revenues from tourism have caused damage to the region and had international ripple effects.

Growth slowed sharply in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to 1.6% as oil sector weakness spread to non-oil sectors. At the same time, output is estimated to have accelerated in Iran to a 4.6% pace and in Iraq to a 10.2% rate thanks to large gains in oil production and, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, to a recovery in agriculture, automotive production, trade and transport.

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