Jordan’s economy to grow 2% on tourism recovery and vaccination push, IMF says

Authorities have maintained macroeconomic stability despite challenges from new COVID-19 variants and weaker tourism prospects.

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Jordan’s economy is predicted to grow by 2 percent this year as the steady reoccurrence of tourists, stronger COVID-19 vaccination efforts and rising global demand support a rebound in the second half of 2021, the International Monetary Fund said.

The prediction has slightly changed from 2020 and marginally lower than earlier forecasts of 2.5 percent after a slow start to vaccination campaigns, weaker balance sheets and tourism sector challenges weighed on domestic demand in the first half of the year, the fund stated.

With the support of structural reforms, growth is expected to reach about 3 percent in the medium term.

Jordanian authorities have taken “timely and well-targeted” measures to soften the pandemic’s blow, save lives, and protect the livelihoods of weak groups, said Mitsuhiro Furusawa, the fund’s deputy managing director and acting chairman.

However, successive COVID-19 waves, as well as a “sharp decline” in tourism had a “significant” human and economic toll, with unemployment hitting a record high while the recovery was being delayed, Furusawa expressed.

“Notwithstanding these challenges, authorities have successfully maintained macroeconomic stability, notably by meeting all key fiscal and reserve targets, and have made very strong progress on a large number of critical structural reforms,” he further stated.

The IMF Chairman’s comments came after the Washington-based lender concluded its second review of Jordan’s economic reform program under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

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