Middle East

Jordan Q2 economic growth slows to 2.9 pct yr/yr

Members of the Follow the Women Foundation rest upon arriving on their bicycles at the Amman Citadel on Friday. About 300 women from 30 countries took part in an event cycling through the Middle Eastern countries to promote peace and empower women in the region.

AMMAN: Economic growth in Jordan slowed slightly to 2.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter but was supported by a sharp rise in tourism, official data showed on Tuesday.

The pace of growth eased marginally after a first-quarter expansion of 3 percent year-on-year.

Jordanian authorities expect the economy to expand by around 2.7 percent in 2012. The International Monetary Fund (IMF)recently forecast growth could reach 3 percent with signs of a recovery in remittances and a rebound in tourism receipts.

The turmoil of the Arab Spring in neighbours such as Syria and Egypt has cast a shadow over private sector investment while extra social spending to quell unrest has further strained public finances.

Growth in the second quarter was fuelled by a 10 percent expansion in tourism followed by 6.7 percent growth in the communications and transport sector. The financial sector saw a 5.7 percent rise, according to the data released by the central statistics office.

Officials say it will take time to get back to previous growth rates, which averaged 7 percent annually before the global downturn in 2008.





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