Thu, 30 Mar 2023

UN predicts slower economic growth for Western Asia

27 Jan 2023, 05:44 GMT+10

BEIRUT, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The economic growth in Western Asia is projected to slow down in 2023 and 2024, according to a press release issued by the United Nations Information Centre in Beirut on Thursday.

The press release, quoting the report UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2023, said GDP growth in Western Asia is projected to slow to about 3.5 percent in 2023 and 3.4 percent in 2024 from 6.4 percent in 2022.

"Major crude oil producers, including the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Iraq, experienced rapid economic expansion due to high oil prices and a significant increase in crude oil production," it said.

But the growth trends are expected to diverge in 2023 because of the commodity and food price spike triggered by the conflict in Ukraine, it added.

"The region's non-oil-producing countries primarily suffered the adverse terms-of-trade impact of the commodity price spike, with growth taking a toll," the UN press release noted.

While domestic demand is projected to recover steadily, external economic conditions, including terms of access to international finance, are expected to remain tight, limiting growth prospects, according to the press release.

"The region's currencies, including those pegged to the U.S. dollar, will remain under pressure, forcing them to maintain tight monetary stances. The looming global economic slowdown may weaken demand for crude oil and adversely affect the oil-producing economies in the region," it warned.

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