BAGHDAD, The International Monetary Fund raised the growth forecast for Iraq, while reducing it to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and Kuwait.
"Growth is expected in Iraq, the region's second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, after its economy contracted by 0.6 percent last year," the IMF said in its new World Economic Outlook.
The IMF lowered its growth forecast for Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two largest economies in the Middle East, on the back of US sanctions, regional tensions and falling oil prices.
The IMF said that Iran's economy is expected to shrink this year by 9.5% amid stifling US sanctions.
Nonetheless, the IMF said Saudi Arabia's economic growth next year is likely to reach 2.2%, amid ongoing reforms in the kingdom that will help its non-oil sector gain strength in 2020.
Source: National Iraqi News Agency