The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts economic growth in the Middle East will increase to 4.2 per cent in 2010, as a result of the strengthening oil price and global economic recovery.

In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the fund forecasts that growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) will fall to 2 per cent in 2009 but will recover to 4.2 per cent in 2010.

Improving oil prices will stimulate a rise in the region’s current account balance. After falling from 18.3 per cent of GDP in 2008 to 2.6 per cent in 2009, the balance will rebound to 7.9 per cent of GDP in 2010.

According to the report, despite improving economic conditions “the aftermath of the regional asset price collapse continues to weigh down the outlook” and there remains a risk that the global recovery will be sustained.