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Economic growth in 2017

Jul 23,2017 - Last updated at Jul 23,2017

According to a recent report by the World Bank, Jordan’s economic growth rate in 2017 is estimated to be 2.3 per cent.

In the first instance, I did not like this figure, especially when the budget address to Parliament adopted the IMF figure revealed last year, which was 3.3 per cent.

Perhaps the IMF did not mean it as an objective to be pursued, rather than a projection that we can build on, but it is undeniable that there is something positive in the World Bank’s estimate of 2.3 per cent for this year.

The World Bank reached the figure based on the knowledge that the economic growth rate in 2016 was only 2 per cent, while growth in the last quarter of 2016 was as low as 1.8 per cent.

Even this rather low rate of expected growth in 2017, i.e., 2.3 per cent, will not materialise automatically. It needs efforts, policies and measures that the government started taking by adopting a plan to motivate and stimulate the economy with all the instruments that are used to achieve this motivation.

The economic growth rate in the first quarter of 2017 reached 2.3 per cent, the level we hope to achieve in 2017 as a whole.

Since this growth rate was possible in the first quarter, previous estimates must be revised upwards.

Economic growth rate in the second quarter may stand at around 2.5 per cent and might rise by the end of the year to 2.8 per cent.

Those who want to deal with the Jordanian economy must understand its structure, i.e., the components of the gross domestic product, to find that growth rates of various sectors were widely different. Some sectors have been rising, others are on the decline or hovering to the same rate.

The overall growth rate of GDP is the end result that differs from one sector to another.

This means that the government should not look at those components on equal basis. Various plans to deal with each sector are needed. Such a detailed programme is possible because every ministry corresponds with a sector.

Of course, a measure of coordination is needed to secure proper implementation, but such coordination is there; first, the prime minister is supposed to supervise and coordinate efforts of various ministries, and second, the economic ministerial team is supposed to hold regular meetings.

 

Of course, the public opinion, the press and activists have a role in pressuring the government to go in this or that direction.

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