Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the Arab Region 2012-2013

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The Survey of Economic and Social Development in the Arab Region 2012-2013 assesses the most recent economic and social developments of Arab countries, using the data that became available by the 2nd quarter of 2013. The immediate policy challenge for most of Arab countries is to create employment without relying on an expansionary fiscal and monetary policy mix. The Survey finds that several policy options are available for this policy challenge even in this highly uncertain situation surrounding the region’s socioeconomic development. In parallel to the specific policy proposals, the Survey emphasizes the importance of policy dialogue in the area of employment and more constructive regional integration framework on this subject. The revival of regional leverage along this line of reform needs be encouraged to halt the polarization by stabilizing the region’s socioeconomic development paths for all Arab countries.



Socioeconomic Trends and Developments in the Arab Region

The economies of the Arab region exhibited further polarization in their development paths in 2012. Major energy exporters in the region, namely GCC countries, are on a stable recovery path which was enabled by an expansionary fiscal and monetary policy mix. At the same time, net energy-importing countries in the region are struggling to stabilize their economies amid worsening foreign exchange constraints. The polarization, owed partly to political instability and social unrest, further obstructed the flow of intraregional funds from the major energy exporters of the region. The lack of confidence in intraregional business transactions resulted in the segmentation of economies in the region and the loss of regional leverage, which amplified the seriousness of unemployment throughout the region, even in GCC countries.


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