Ongoing internal tensions and a difficult global economic climate have caused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to trim 0.2% from its growth expectations for the Middle East and north Africa (MENA) for this year. In its recent World Economic Outlook update, the IMF revised its expectations of real growth in MENA from 3.6% to 3.4%, citing the knock-on effects of ongoing internal instability on the region’s macroeconomic performance.

Although MENA’s economic performance has surpassed that of the eurozone, which is predicted to grow by just 0.5% in 2013, the IMF noted that emerging economies elsewhere will outperform MENA’s economies as their growth is expected to reach up to 5.5% this year. Although the indebtedness ratio of MENA countries as a whole has been on a downward streak, the region’s current account surplus as a percentage of GDP has weighed in on its economic outlook, as it declined from 12.2% of GDP in 2012 to 10.6% of GDP in 2013.