Gulf Economic Barometer

The Gulf Economic Barometer monitors initiatives taken by Gulf states as they seek fiscal, monetary, and labor policy changes to meet the challenge of reduced state revenue from natural resources. The key trend is a major shift in the way the GCC countries have been spending on public sector wages, infrastructure, and social services over the last decade. The GEB documents the policy changes as they are announced and/or implemented by country and by sector and is updated regularly as data becomes available. The information here is neither official nor exhaustive.

Present

The Bridge: Competing Megaprojects in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Kuwait Boubyan Island
by Robert Mogielnicki During the March 25 Kuwait Investment Forum, Kuwaiti government officials reaffirmed the country’s commitment to develop the Silk City (Madinat al-Harir) megaproject and establish an integrated economic zone on five uninhabited Kuwaiti islands.

Market Watch: Economic Nationalism at the Expense of GCC Integration

As a burgeoning global trend, economic nationalism is also surging in the Gulf states. What may be lost is the decade of efforts in economic integration and negotiations to make the GCC work as a common market, with complementary assets.

Market Watch: Pricing the Trump Risk in Gulf Economies

by Karen E. Young The beginning of the Trump administration points to, at the least, a heightened period of political and economic risk, which Gulf governments, financial institutions, and businesses will have to price, assess, and manage.

Market Watch: International Trade, Investment, and Finance in the Trump Administration

by Karen E. Young Trump’s pro-growth agenda will need partners, and the GCC states are also looking for investment partners in their diversification efforts and for placements for state-owned investment vehicles. It will be the politicization of these partnerships that will create the most risk.

Market Watch: Transactional Partnerships To Define Foreign and Economic Policy in the Gulf

by Karen E. Young The new Trump administration will likely offer a more transactional view of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East, and specifically toward the Gulf states.

Market Watch: The Irony of Kuwait’s Economic Reform Agenda

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah attends the closing session of the 36th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) by Karen E. Young

There are a number of ironies in this latest political development in Kuwait.

Market Watch: The Gulf’s Entanglement in Egypt

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, right, receives Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Ryan Carter, Crown Prince Court via AP) by Karen E. Young Egypt gets caught between lenders as GCC countries struggle to meet their aid promises in times of fiscal austerity.

Market Watch: Smart(er) Money in the Gulf

State-owned funds like Mubadala in the United Arab Emirates are consolidating their operations.

With smarter money, even in a time of diminished fiscal revenue, the GCC states could become formidable investors.

Market Watch: The Debt Roadshow Begins

by Karen E. Young GCC states show significant interest in sovereign debt, in the form of bonds and loans.

Market Watch: Business Politics in the Gulf

A brief look at state-business relations in the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

Market Watch: The Perfect Storm: Labor Markets and Economic Downturn in the Gulf

Amid fiscal deficits, bloated public sectors, and accelerated efforts to create jobs and diversify economies, there is a perfect storm on the horizon for GCC states.

Market Watch: Regional Politics Impact GCC Economic Reforms

Gulf Cooperation Council states struggle to agree upon a shared tax regime as regional politics come into play.

Market Watch: Gulf States’ Fiscal Situation Accelerates Consensus for Economic Reform

The current fiscal climate, in which all of the GCC states face deficits due to declining oil and gas revenues, is enabling a new consensus for economic reform.

Market Watch: It’s all in the Financing – Renewable Energy Potential in the GCC and Iran

While both economic and environmental concerns are driving reform processes across the Gulf Cooperation Council states, the real innovation is in how Gulf states harness their business acumen to attract investment and design deals that work for local financial markets, governments, and developers.

Market Watch: Volatile Global Markets and the Arab Gulf States

Many investors have long anticipated an economic slowdown, but the timing couldn’t be worse for the Arab Gulf states.