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Country Report Syria October 2017

Country Report Syria October 2017

  • October 2017
  • ID: 360814
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Outlook for 2018-22

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects Syria's war-which began in 2011-to ease in intensity as fighting between the regime and the various rebel groups becomes increasingly confined to rural areas.
  • Efforts to forge a peace deal will founder amid ceasefire violations and political disputes. Iran and Russia will thus maintain their military presence in government-held areas, which will gradually morph into an occupation.
  • The regime will be able to consolidate its grip and build an economically viable area in western Syria, but its foreign backers, Russia and Iran, will not be able to finance Syria's huge reconstruction needs.
  • The fiscal outlook will remain dire, as oil and tax revenue remains low and military spending requirements remain substantial. This will severely hinder reconstruction efforts and leave the regime reliant on foreign aid.
  • Positive real GDP growth will strengthen in 2018-22 but remain modest, as the war has inflicted enormous damage on the economy, with the oil sector mostly offline and domestic demand hit by the refugee exodus.
  • After slowing to an estimated 25.7% in 2017, following the relative stabilisation of the Syrian pound, inflation will decline further in 2018-22, to an annual average of 21.8%, as the currency strengthens slightly.
  • The combined impact of interventions by the central bank and rising inward remittances and investment is expected to lead to a modest appreciation of the currency from an average of S£517:US$1 in 2018 to S£463:US$1 in 2021.


  • Israeli aircraft bombed a building suspected of being the site of a chemical weapons production facility in northern Syria on September 7th.
  • The Iranian government and Iran's leading power sector contractor, MAPNA, have agreed to carry out a number of major projects to boost Syria's electricity-generating system, including a 540-MW station in Latakia and five gas turbines to be built in each of Aleppo and Banias.
  • Syriatel, the dominant player in the local mobile-phone market, has reported large increases in its gross revenue and net profits in the first half of 2017. The other operator, MTN Syria, also reported an improved performance.
  • US-backed forces led by the mainly Kurdish People's Protection Units took control of the largest gas-processing plant in eastern Syria on September 23rd as they pressed ahead with an offensive against the jihadi group, Islamic State, to the east of Deir al-Zour.

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