Jordanian economy forecast to grow further


Jordan’s economy is expected to grow 3.9 per cent this year and 4.5 per cent in 2011, according to a World Bank report.

The Global Economic Prospects 2010 report said growth in the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to be driven by domestic demand with the help of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures, as external contributions decline.
Meanwhile, experts described the projected growth figures as positive, expecting real economic recovery to come during the second half of this year.
Economist Jawad Anani predicted that the first six months of 2010 would not be encouraging, saying GDP growth will be between two per cent and 2.5 per cent, reaching four per cent in the second half of the year.
“Last year, the country’s economy did not achieve real growth as it grew only 2.5 per cent, which is the minimum percentage required to maintain the average income per capita,” Anani told The Jordan Times, adding that the cost of living also went down in 2009.
The economist, who has previously held several ministerial posts, explained that values of properties and shares will rise as well as commodity prices, which will speed up recovery, but noted that the government has to take certain measures to stimulate some economic sectors.
Ali Tabbalat, a financial analyst, said recovery will be linked to trade activities and other external factors, including recovery in the economies of the Gulf countries.
“The World Bank figure is optimistic. I personally expected growth to be slower because Jordan’s economy should rebound six months after the Gulf economies recover,”
Tabbalat elaborated, adding however that if the government works intensively to attract foreign investments, the growth forecast by the World Bank could be reached in the second half of this year. Economist Yusuf Mansur said recovery was not likely during the first six months of 2010.

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