In its annual World Outlook for the current year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) expected the Middle East and North Africa region to have the highest growth rate in the world at 4.4 percent due to the increase in oil prices and as long as the Israeli-Palestinian violence does not generate into a wider regional conflict.
The EIU forecasts that the Lebanese economy to grow at a 1.5 percent rate compared to 0.5 percent in 2000 and a contraction of 1percent in 1999, constituting the slowest growth rate of any Arab country in 2001.
The report said governments of large oil-producing countries are starting to spend again as a result of strong oil revenues, which will benefit the private sector and improve corporate profits.
The EIU forecast the fastest growing economies in the region for 2001 to be Morocco at 8.5 percent, Tunisia at seven percent, Algeria at 5.8 percent, Sudan at 5.8 percent and Libya at 5.7 percent. The slowest growing economies are Saudi Arabia at 3 percent, Kuwait at 2.7 percent and Syria at 2.4 percent. — (Lebanon Invest )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )