IMF: Rebounding oil prices help Middle East fight global recession
A rebound in oil prices continues to help Middle Eastern and North African countries recover strongly from a global recession, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Wednesday, dpa reported.
In a six-monthly report on the global economy, the IMF predicted that the Middle East and North Africa would grow 4.1 per cent this year and 5.1 per cent in 2011.
The higher demand for oil was also helping countries in the region without the fossil fuel, like Lebanon, because of strong trade links.
Oil prices hit a low of less than 50 dollars per barrel in early 2009, at the height of the first global recession since World War II, but have since recovered to between 70-80 dollars per barrel.
Demand for oil also grew at an annual rate of 2.7 per cent in the first half of this year, the strongest six-month gain since 2004. But the IMF said it expected only "modest" gains in the oil price over the coming year.
The IMF warned that the region was still vulnerable to another sudden downturn in the global economy, and especially one in Europe, its largest trading partner