Economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are expected to grow at a slower pace in 2023, as double-digit food inflation adds pressure on poorer households and the impact of food insecurity can span generations, according to the World Bank’s latest MENA economic update. Titled "Altered Destinies: The Long-Term Effects of Rising Prices and Food Insecurity in the Middle East and North Africa", the report forecasts MENA’s GDP will slow to 3.0% in 2023, from 5.8% in 2022. Oil exporters, who benefited from a windfall in 2022, will experience slower growth, but a large gap remains between high-income countries and the rest of the region. Real GDP per capita growth, a better proxy for living standards, is expected to slow down to 1.6% in 2023 from 4.4% in 2022. Inflation in the region rose dramatically in 2022, especially in countries that experienced currency depreciations. The report focused specifically on the impact of food price inflation on food insecurity, finding that eight out of 16 countries suffered from double-digit food price inflation or higher, affecting poorer households the most as they spend more of their budgets on food than those that are better off.
At this seminar, Asif Mohammed Islam, Senior Economist, and Federico Roberto Bennett, Economist, Office of the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa Region, presented the main findings of the report.
8am-9am, Friday April 28, 2023 (Japan Standard Time)
Asif Mohammed Islam
Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa Region, World Bank
Federico Roberto Bennett
Economist, Office of the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa Region, World Bank