Economies across the Middle East and Central Asia will likely slow this year as persistently high inflation and rising interest rates bite into their post-pandemic gains.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) disclosed this on Wednesday.
The IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook blamed in part rising energy costs, as well as elevated food prices, for the estimated slower growth.
The report said that while oil-dependent economies of the Gulf Arab states and others in the region have reaped the benefits of elevated crude prices, other countries such as Pakistan have seen growth collapse after unprecedented flooding.
Rising interest rates, used by central banks worldwide to try to stem inflation’s rise, increase the costs of borrowing money.
That will affect nations carrying heavier debts, the IMF warned.
Jihad Azour, the director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF said; “This year we’re seeing inflation again being the most challenging issue for most of the countries.
“For those who have a high level of debt, the challenge of increase in interest rate globally, as well as also the tightening of monetary policy, is affecting them.”