Covid-19 reshapes economic priorities

28 June 2020
The global coronavirus pandemic has taken countries in the region from a position of growth planning to one of survival and austerity

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As the first phase of the global Covid-19 crisis passes, MEED takes stock of the economic health of the region and points of note for the Middle East and North Africa country markets.

By each country name is the country’s score according to the MEED Covid-19 Recovery Index, which assesses 10 factors to provide a weighted index of a country’s economic recovery potential.

The positive indicators, representing stronger recovery potential, are higher wealth, ease of doing business, stimulus measures, larger project pipelines, larger populations and better health systems. Negative indicators are higher debt-to-GDP ratios, unemployment, oil dependence and political risk, which translate into weaker stimulus and recovery potential.

Much could still change, and there could still be a second wave of infections, but as it stands, the region is gearing back up.

MEED assesses the challenges for post-Covid-19 recovery in the region

> Algeria: Unemployment rate rises as the country’s economic output tumbles due to Covid-19

> Bahrain: A $11bn stimulus package is among Manama’s measures to support the kingdom’s private sector

> Egypt: Financial support, project investment and tourism are key factors for Egypt’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic

> Iran: With substantial challenges ahead, Iran can ill afford to mishandle its economic recovery

> Iraq: Covid-19 and low oil prices have compounded an already fragile political and economic situation

> Jordan: Lower exports, remittances, travel and foreign investments to undermine low oil price benefits

> Kuwait: Deteriorating fiscal balance overshadows health and safety concerns amid the pandemic

> Lebanon: Socioeconomic discontent risks future growth despite the formation of a new government

> Morocco: Declines in outbound trade, inbound travel and remittance receipts cause economic contraction

> Oman: Finance Ministry has taken measures to reduce state expenses by 15 per cent

> Qatar: Four-phase plan implemented to ease restrictions

> Saudi Arabia: Plunging oil prices triggered a SR34.1bn deficit in the kingdom’s first-quarter budget

> Tunisia: The pandemic has doubled Tunisia’s need for external funding to TD5bn in 2020

> UAE: Abu Dhabi’s recovery depends on oil prices, while Dubai needs a rebound in aviation and tourism

Download the infographic here

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