IMF warns Mideast oil importers of budget risks

FILE - Current gasoline prices are shown at a gas station in Encinitas, California October 8, 2012. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Oil-importing countries in the Middle East are experiencing heightened risks as their budgets and external balances deteriorate, the International Monetary Fund said.

Countries such as Egypt, which are dependent on fuel imports, are struggling to recover after the crisis in Europe sapped export markets; energy prices rise; and the government spends to meet social demands stimulated by last year’s unrest, the fund said in a report Friday.

It forecast growth of 2.1 percent in the oil-importing group of countries this year, rising to 3.3 percent next year. The IMF predicted 2 percent expansion in Egypt this year, accelerating to 3 percent next year – still only about half the average rate in the five years before the 2011 uprising.

Current-account imbalances pose challenges as capital inflows weaken, and declines in official international reserves make countries vulnerable to external shocks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 13, 2012, on page 4.




Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here