In its April World Economic Outlook report, the fund forecast growth of 2.5 per cent in the Middle East during 2009.

In an update of its April forecasts, the fund said the Middle East was “more negatively affected by the drop in global trade than previously expected, with Middle Eastern oil exporters using their financial reserves to prop up domestic demand.”

The new forecasts also decreased the outlook for world growth for 2009 by 0.1 percentage points to -1.4 per cent, but the fund increased its 2010 forecast by 0.6 percentage points to 2.5 per cent.

The fund has also raised it 2010 forecast for the Middle East by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 per cent.