The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sharply raised its estimate of the windfall that oil-exporting countries in the Middle East and Central Asia will receive in 2022. This is stated in the regional forecast of the IMF, published on Wednesday. As fund experts expect, this year windfall from higher oil prices, GDP in the region will reach 818 billion US dollars. This is 320 billion more than the IMF estimated in October last year. In this regard, the IMF is calling on the countries of the region to adopt «vigilant» policies that will make their economies less dependent on boom and bust in energy prices. The IMF expects the bonanza will «improve the fiscal and external balance» in the region, which includes a total of 13 exporters from the United Arab Emirates to Turkmenistan. Oil is forecast to average $106.83 per barrel in 2022 and $92.63 in 2023. The fund estimates that official reserves in the region will be $1.3 trillion in 2022, up $235 billion from October forecast.
- The oil «reward» is «an opportunity to deepen financial markets, as well as stimulate additional direct investment in the economy,» Jihad Azur, IMF regional director, said at a press conference. In his opinion, this will help «accelerate diversification, create growth that will gradually become less dependent on oil.»