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Falling oil prices may prove the best medicine for economies in the Arab world, rebalancing growth toward countries struggling to recover from the Arab Spring uprisings without doing major damage to the oil exporters of the Gulf.It is potentially the biggest shift for the Gulf Arab economies since the global financial crisis five years ago. But the huge financial reserves that they have built since then mean they are likely to cope fairly comfortably with cheaper oil.Tuvey estimated that Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon would enjoy a $4 billion annual reduction in their combined import bills for every $10 fall in the oil price on a sustained basis.For the big Gulf economies, those break-even points are still far from current oil prices; Saudi Arabia will have a break-even price of $90.70 a barrel in 2015, up from $73.60 in 2009, the International Monetary Fund estimates.This implies oil prices could drop another 10 percent or so from current levels to $90 or slightly below, and stay there, without causing serious damage to the finances of most of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council – most would simply rake in smaller surpluses than they have enjoyed in recent years.Egypt's GDP grew 3.5 percent from a year earlier in the April-June quarter and Tunisia's economy is officially forecast to expand no more than 2.5 percent in 2014 .
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