Arab Spring ‘cost $800bn in lost output’

Libyan rebels09 October 2013, News Wires – The Arab Spring is set to cost economies in the Middle East and North Africa $800 billion in lost output by the end of next year, a report from a leading international bank has estimated.

The research report from HSBC also highlighted the pressure the wave of uprisings in the region has put on government spending in largely oil-dependent nations.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the seven worst-affected countries in the region is set to come in 35% lower by the end of next year than it would have done without the uprisings. Those countries worst affected were Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, many of them key oil-producing states.

Economic output from the seven countries will fall from $2.9 trillion to slightly more than $2 trillion over a four-year period, HSBC found.

GDP growth in the Middle East and North Africa will slow to 4% this year from 4.5% last year and 4.9% in 2011. It will, however, rise to 4.2% next year, HSBC said.

The GDP growth in Egypt, which continues to be severely hit by political and economic instability, is set to be 2.2% this year and 3% next year, the report said.

Continuing production issues in Libya, on account of shut-ins and unrest, is set to keep economic growth to just 0.7% from a previous estimate of 15.9%, the bank said.

The Gulf nations of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have, however, bolstered their economic position in the region in the wake of the Arab Spring, according to the report.

– Upstream

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