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Iraq Business Forecast Report Q4 2014

  • August 2014
  • -
  • Business Monitor International
  • -
  • 33 pages

Core Views
Risks of a return to full-blown civil war are elevated following the takeover of jihadist group Islamic state (IS) of the country's north and west. The Iraqi economy will grow at a rapid pace in 2014 and 2015, however decelerating oil export growth will lead to slowing economic expansion over the medium term.

Major Forecast Changes
We have revised down our 2014 and 2015 economic growth forecasts for Iraq, given high risks of a return to sectarian civil war. We project the economy to expand by 8.6% and 8.2% in real terms in 2014 and 2015 respectively, from our previous forecasts of 9.0% growth this year and 9.4% the next.

Table Of Contents

Iraq Business Forecast Report Q4 2014
Executive Summary 5
Core Views...5
Major Forecast Changes.5
Key Risks To Outlook5
Chapter 1: Political Outlook.. 7
SWOT Analysis 7
BMI Political Risk Ratings.. 7
Domestic Politics 8
Iraqi Kurdistan: Significant Potential For Full Independence.8
The semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq will gain a much greater level of independence from the central government over the
coming years. Although our core view sees Kurdistan remaining formally part of the Iraq i state, risks that it could gain full independence
are significant.
Table: Political Overview8
Table: Long-Term Scenarios9
Foreign Politics... 10
Minimal Strategic Gains From Possible US Air strikes....10
Barack Obama's authorisation for targeted air strikes against Jihadist group Islamic State will do little to change the situation on
the ground in Iraq, besides minor tactical gains. Fighting in the country will be protracted over the coming years, with little scope for
Baghdad to reassert its control over northern and western Iraq.
Long-Term Political Outlook. 11
Rising Risk Of State Collapse - Scenarios Assessed..11
Iraq will maintain formal unity within a more fragile federalised state over the coming decade, but risks that the country will return to full
Middle East over the coming years.
Chapter 2: Economic Outlook.. 13
SWOT Analysis... 13
BMI Economic Risk Ratings.. 13
Economic Activity... 14
Iraq: Growth Forecasts Revised Downward..14
We have modestly revised down ward Iraq's 2014 and 2015 real GDP growth forecasts. Increasing political in stability will result in a
marked decline in the expansion of the domestic economy, however robust oil exports will ensure that headline growth remains strong
until 2016. We have sharply revised downward our five-year growth forecasts. Consumer spending and capital formation will remain
subdued, and hydrocarbon production growth will slow significantly due to a lack of investment.
Table: Economic Activity14
Monetary Policy . 15
Inflation Increasing In Government-Controlled Areas.15
Consumer inflation in Iraq will accelerate over the coming quarters, mainly a result of the ongoing conflict in the north and west
of the country. We project CPI inflation in areas still under government's control averaging 5.5 % and 6.0% in 2014 and 2015,
respectively.
Table: Monetary Policy..16
Balance Of Payments... 17
Foreign Investment To Slow Significantly17
Iraq's current account surplus will narrow over the next five years. Foreign direct investment inflows will decline significantly, as
increasing political instability hinders business confidence in virtually every sector of the economy.
TABLE: Current Account.18
Chapter 3: 10-Year Forecast 21
The Iraqi Economy To 2023... 21
Success Story In Jeopardy....21
Iraq's potential as a regional economic outperformer has faded as a result of elevated political instability, and we project real GDP
expanding by a yearly average of 4.4% over the 2014-2023 period. T he oil and gas sector will be the lifeblood of the economy over this
time frame.
Table: Long-Term Macroeconomic Forecasts...21
Chapter 4: Business Environment 23
SWOT Analysis... 23
BMI Business Environment Risk Ratings 23
Business Environment Outlook. 24
Institutions 24
TABLE: BMI BUSINESS AND OPERATION RISK RATINGS....24
TABLE: BMI LEGAL FRAMEWORK RATING....25
Infrastructure. 26
TABLE: LABOUR FORCE QUALITY..26
Market Orientation... 27
TABLE: MENA - ANNUAL FDI INFLOWS27
Operational Risk. 28
TABLE: TRADE AND INVESTMENT RATINGS28
Table: Top export destinations 29
Chapter 5: BMI Global Assumptions. 31
Global Outlook.... 31
US Revision Drags Down Forecast.31
Table: Global Assumptions31
Table: Developed States, Real GDP GrowtH, %..32
Table: BMI VERSUS BLOOMBERG CONSENSUS REAL GDP GROWTH FORECASTS, %.. 32
Table: Emerging Markets, Real GDP Growth, %.33

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