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Country Forecast Jordan June 2018 Updater

Country Forecast Jordan June 2018 Updater

  • June 2018
  • ID: 265307
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

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  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects King Abdullah II to remain in power and to continue to determine the overall pace and extent of political reform, as well as make key appointments. He will allow some moderate dissent within the political system, but this will not fully satisfy the demands of his opponents.
  • The king is likely to encourage small, incremental changes-including greater powers for parliament and some further adjustments to the voting system in subsequent elections-to give the impression of reform.
  • The Islamic Action Front (the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood) will continue to criticise government policies and the king's modernisation efforts, but will also show greater willingness to be co-opted into the political process, rather than seeking to radically alter it.
  • The king will maintain a pro-Western foreign policy and strong ties with the US. Jordan will face major security challenges stemming from regional instability and the influx of refugees from Syria, but it will seek to work with various powers to stabilise its borders and its security forces should be able to withstand the challenge. Relations with Israel will face intermittent difficulties.
  • The government will continue to try to rein in the large fiscal deficit, with the support of the IMF, but will find it hard to make rapid progress, as austerity will be tempered by concerns over public dissent and protests. The IMF will support measures to improve the business and investment climate.
  • Jordan will benefit from its relative stability and continue to attract modest investment. Several large construction projects are under way, which should help to support the economy, and there are plans to develop renewables and improve infrastructure. We forecast that growth will pick up only slowly, hindered by continued regional instability, averaging 3% in 2018-22.
  • Inflation will be driven higher by rising global commodity prices, the lifting of subsidies and a modest strengthening of domestic demand.
  • The public-sector debt burden will remain large, but it will fall as a proportion of GDP. In addition, budgetary shortfalls will mean that the government is unable to end its reliance on foreign aid.
  • The current-account deficit will remain large, averaging 9.7% of GDP a year in 2018-22, owing to higher oil prices, which will increase the import bill.


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