Global body revises prediction for 2012 growth (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's economy will grow a better than expected 2 per cent in 2012 as political tensions ease, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.
The IMF's new estimate is markedly more optimistic than the 1.5 per cent annual growth it predicted in April and is slightly ahead of forecasts for the Middle East and North Africa's other net oil importers.
Egypt's economy grew 1.8 per cent in 2011, according to other IMF figures.
The body's World Economic Outlook, issued on Tuesday, predicts weak growth for regional oil-importers, reflecting the effects of social unrest and political uncertainty as well as weakened external demand and high energy prices.
Lower estimates for Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, Lebanon and Jordan pulled the regional average for 2012 down to 1.2 per cent.
But 2013 is likely to see heightened growth for Egypt and the rest of the region, the report says.
"Uncertainty is expected to decrease as political transitions stabilise while external demand picks up, and growth in oil importers is projected to recover to 3.25 per cent in 2013," the IMF said.
Growth in Egypt itself is projected at 3 per cent in 2013, slightly down from the 3.3 per cent the IMF predicted in April.
Egyptian officials have recently made more bullish predictions, foreseeing 4 per cent growth for the 2012/13 fiscal year, which started 1 July and ends on 30 July next year.
This estimate, however, is somewhat lower than the 4.5 per cent earlier earlier announced by the country's prime minister.