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‘How we see our economy’

Oct 15,2017 - Last updated at Oct 15,2017

Pessimists among us believe that the economic situation in Jordan is bad and on its way to becoming worse.

Optimists, on the other hand, see the economic situation as acceptable and on its way to become better.

Neither group is able to present solid facts to prove its point of view; they depend on their own personal state. They pass judgements on the economy based on their own experience.

Official data from the Department of Statistics indicates that Jordan’s economy achieved a real growth rate of 2.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year, and 2 per cent in the second; the comparison was with the same quarters of the previous year.

Not one sector of the economy registered a negative growth rate. All sectors registered gains at various rates.

In other words, the economy in general is growing, but not in an impressive manner; it does not reach the progress we aspire to reach or even approach.

There are no solid facts that justify optimistic or pessimistic positions.  No one expects surprises. The economic reform programme agreed upon with the IMF aims at correcting distortion and reforming the structure of the economy, hoping that this will, in the medium term, lead, to a higher economic growth rate.

External factors could not be ignored especially when Jordan is open not only to the region but to the whole world, which has a major impact on the country’s economic development.

Recently, we got used to the bad situation in the region, and thus blame regional circumstances for our economic difficulties and shortcomings. The most important aspect of the bad circumstances, which is the closure of the borders of Iraq and Syria, is about to come to an end. The border with Iraq is now open, its market is accessible to Jordanian exporters.

Hopefully the Syrian borders will also open soon.

It helps that Jordanian forces are present at this border and beyond; it means that the Syrian border will soon be open, pending certain arrangements to prevent the area from becoming another hot point of dispute.

So far such good news did not change business behaviour, as can be seen at the Amman Stock Exchange where prices remained under pressure, as dealers are not ready to take a different attitude based on hope. They wait for things to actually happen and economic recovery to start. In general they are not ready to lead the recovery. They want to follow from behind.


The Amman Stock Exchange is familiar with major waves of price ups and downs, but the present decline of prices has been in place for much longer than expected, so much so that people started to look at the present situation as the new normal.

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