Iraq Economic Forecast

Iraq Economic Outlook

February 5, 2019

Oil production picked up pace in Q4 2018, with particularly strong output in December, which should have offset the negative impact of plunging oil prices somewhat. Meanwhile, three months after the formation of a new government, ministerial posts remain unfilled, with vacancies at the ministries of security and justice particularly worrisome given current efforts to rebuild the country after years of armed conflict. On a slightly brighter note, parliament approved the 2019 budget bill after months of fierce debates. The budget is one of the largest spending endeavors in the post-Saddam Hussein era but lacks key economic reforms to diversify the economy and to support the private sector.

Iraq Economic Growth

A prolonged slowdown in China would dent Iraqi exports and limit economic growth. Volatile oil prices also pose a risk to the country’s rebuilding efforts and government finances, with the new budget even more reliant on oil prices. Met the why particular panelists expect growth of 4.3% in 2019, which is down 0.3 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.4% in 2020.

Iraq Economy Data

Population (million)33.436.036.937.938.9
GDP per capita (USD)7,0426,6214,8514,548-  
GDP (USD bn)235238179172-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)  
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)5.06.722.28.0-  
Unemployment Rate7.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-5.8-5.4-12.3-13.9-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1,1651,1431,0961,1821,185
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)1,1631,1631,1481,1711,177
Current Account (% of GDP)9.611.2-1.12.1-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)22.624.4-1.93.6-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)30.426.
Exports (USD billion)89.885.451.341.357.6
Imports (USD billion)60.154.448.034.338.8
Exports (annual variation in %)-4.7-4.9-39.9-19.539.4
Imports (annual variation in %)0.6-1.3-18.1-28.713.3
International Reserves (USD)77.766.353.544.948.9
External Debt (% of GDP)25.224.436.939.2-  

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Iraq Facts

Exchange Rate1,1910.0 %Feb 14

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