In its monthly outlook for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, shared with Ahram Online on Sunday, Fitch also maintained its projections for the interest rate through end-2021 at 9.2 percent, keeping its outlook for the US dollar price against the Egyptian pound at 15.7 EGP.
Focusing on the Levant, the report expected the region’s countries’ real GDP to grow by 4.7 percent in 2021, following a reduction by 3.9 percent in 2020.
The region’s growth will outpace the Gulf Cooperation Council (3.2 percent), North Africa (3.8 percent), and the broader MENA region (3.1 percent), according to the report.
Yet, the report mentioned that Israel and Jordan will be the only states in the region whose growth will rise above their pre-COVID 10-year growth trends in 2021.
Overall, Levant countries’ real GDP growth is expected to decelerate to 3.9 percent in 2021, according to the report.
On the other hand, the report noted that most of the Levant economies will see growth accelerate in 2022, with Lebanon, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza and Syria all set to see stronger growth compared to 2021.
“A pickup in vaccine rollouts across the region will allow for an easing of social distancing restrictions and support the normalisation of activity, resulting in higher growth in 2022. Moreover, country specific factors, including a ramp-up in major infrastructure projects in Jordan, increased government spending in Lebanon ahead of the 2022 election and slowing inflation in Syria will offer further tailwinds,” the report explained.
Egypt is eyeing a 5.4 percent growth in its real GDP in FY2021/22, after experiencing a slowdown in FY2020/21 estimated at 2.8 percent, in light of its incremental recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated harsh impacts.
For inflation, the government plans to be in the range the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has set, through the fourth quarter of 2022, at 7 percent (±2 percent).