Economic growth to remain robust in Caucasus and Central Asia in 2024 - Jihad Azour

Economy Materials 18 April 2024 20:10 (UTC +04:00)
Economic growth to remain robust in Caucasus and Central Asia in 2024 - Jihad Azour
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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U.S., WASHINGTON, April 18. Economic growth to remain robust in Caucasus and Central Asia in 2024, said Jihad Azour, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF, during a briefing held as part of the IMF Spring Meetings in Washington, Trend reports.

“Growth in the Middle East and North Africa is weighed down by conflicts, lower oil production, trade disruptions, and high debt. Risks are exceptionally high. Growth in the Caucasus and Central Asia remains resilient, supported by positive trade and financial flows. CCA growth is expected to stand at 3.9 percent in 2024 and 4.8 percent in 2025, while MENA growth is set to amount to 2.7 percent in 2024 and 4.2 percent in 2025,” he said.

Azour pointed out that even 10 years after a severe conflict,per capita income for an economy in the Middle East and Central Asia remains about 10 percent lower than conflict-affected states elsewhere.

“Uneven recovery is expected among MENA and CCA economies. While inflation is receding in line with global trends in most countries, growth prospects are diverging between entities. Starting with MENA, the conflict in Gaza and Israel has caused immense suffering. In addition, Red Sea shipping disruptions have added to existing vulnerabilities,” said the IMF department director.

He went on to add that conflicts are adversely impacting activity in some fragile and low income countries.

“Our analysis shows that conflict not only causes lasting human and social costs but also can lead to large and persistent output losses with potential spillovers to other countries. For CCA economies, we project growth this year to remain robust. In addition, trade diversion is reshaping trade in the CCA region,” he said.

Azour noted that the second issue is inflation.

“Inflation is receding in line with global trends and is approaching historical trend in many economies with about 1/3 now close to or even below average and monetary tightening cycles appeared to have ended in most economies. Next year, in the CCA the majority of country inflation is below or close to targets. Inflation is forecast to ease from 7.7 percent in 2024 to 7.1 percent next year,” he said.

The Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group kicked off on April 15.

The main ministerial meetings and events will take place April 17-19 with other events and activities taking place during the week, April 15-20.

At the heart of the gathering are meetings of the joint Development Committee and the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee, which discuss progress on the work of the World Bank Group and the IMF.

The Spring Meetings bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, parliamentarians, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.