Yemen’s Economic Outlook- April 2017

The conflict in Yemen has caused a dramatic deterioration of the economic and social conditions in the country. Output contracted sharply, driving household incomes downward. Important institutions like the Central Bank became dysfunctional in late 2016. Yemenis are facing a catastrophic humanitarian situation, massive displacement, and destruction of vital infrastructure. The UN recently launched a humanitarian appeal (US$2.1 billion) for helping the 8 million Yemenis suffering from rising food insecurity.

Official statistical reporting on Yemen is no longer available. However, the data gathered suggests that Yemen’s GDP contracted since 2015 by about 40%, cumulatively. Economic and social prospects in 2017 and beyond will depend critically on rapid improvements on the political and security fronts, and ultimately whether an end to the on-going conflict will allow for re-building the economy, the productive sphere, and Yemen’s social fabric. If peace is restored by mid-2017, the fiscal deficit is estimated to be halved, to 6% of GDP. Foreign financing can resume in the second half of the year (with emergency assistance estimated to reach 4% of GDP). At the same time, tax collection can pick up with the resumption of hydrocarbon production, with hydrocarbon tax revenues recovering to about 6% of GDP, of which two-thirds would be due to increased domestic energy consumption. Non-hydrocarbon tax revenues are estimated to reach about 8% of GDP in such a scenario.