The effects of lower oil prices continue to be felt in Oman, with budget cuts and spending rationalisation still in evidence across the board. However, higher commodity prices in late 2017 and into early 2018 should provide a welcome boost to state revenues.
Dubai saw steady GDP growth of 2.8% in 2017 and this is expected to reach 3.2% in 2018, with an increased drive towards consolidating its position as a knowledge-based economy. The emirate is among the most diversified in the region, thanks to factors such as a highly attractive business environment that has brought in large amounts of foreign investment.
Since assuming power in January 2017 the administration of President Nana Akufo-Addo has moved to rein in fiscal spending, industrialise rural regions and improve the business environment in order to jump-start economic growth. The government has brought down the fiscal deficit and freed up capital spending for priority projects, and Ghana’s economic prospects appear strong for 2018.
The collapse in oil prices has weighed on the Algerian economy, giving rise to twin deficits in the budget and current account. In mid-2016 the government introduced a bold medium-term plan that targets a balanced budget by 2020, alongside a new growth model with a strategy for economic development and diversification by 2030. These moves have coincided with the private sector playing a much stronger role in the economy.
2017 proved a turbulent year for Qatar, dominated by the diplomatic rift that emerged between the country and several other regional states in June 2017. However, Qatar has adapted quickly, with many in the local business community confident about the future.