A Reuter’s poll of economists said that the economic growth of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries would accelerate this year to a pace not seen in the last ten years, and experts said that high inflation and a slowdown in the global economy are the most significant risks.
Crude prices, the main driver of Gulf economies, rose after Russia declared war on Ukraine in February 2022 and kept rising, which gave a tremendous boost to the economies of the region rich in oil and gas.
A Reuter’s poll from 12 to 22 April forecasted the overall growth for the six Gulf Cooperation Council economies would average 5.9 per cent this year, the fastest pace since 2012.
As for Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy and the world’s leading exporter of crude oil, about 80% of respondents, or 17 out of 22 respondents, raised their expectations compared to the previous poll in January.
They expected growth at 6.3% in 2022, up from 5.7% envisioned three months ago, followed by a decline to 3.2% next year.
If that happens, growth in 2022 will be the fastest since 2011, when the oil price averaged $111 a barrel.
The expected growth in Kuwait reached 6.4%, and in the UAE 5.6%, to be the fastest in about ten years.
The expected growth for Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, and Bahrain came at about 4%, to be the fastest in several years.