The International Monetary Fund expects most Gulf economies to recover this year at a faster pace than previously estimated, as it raised its 2021 global growth forecast to 6 percent from 5.5 percent less than three months ago. Saudi Arabia’s economy, the region’s largest, is expected to grow 2.9 percent this year, up from the 2.6 percent forecast in January, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook, released this week. The Kingdom’s economy contracted 4.1 percent last year due to the twin shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and lower oil prices. The United Arab Emirates, the Gulf’s second-largest economy, will see growth of 3.1 percent this year, rebounding from a 5.9 percent contraction in 2020, the IMF said. In October last year, it had forecast a 6.6 percent drop in 2020 and 1.3 percent growth this year. Oman saw the biggest positive revision of the Gulf countries, from expectations of a 0.5 percent contraction this year to a forecast of 1.8...read more...