Monthly Insights: September 2021

Khatija Haque - Head of Research & Chief Economist
Edward Bell - Senior Director, Market Economics
Shady Elborno - Head of Macro Strategy
Daniel Richards - MENA Economist
Published Date: 23 September 2021

 

The coronavirus pandemic remains a salient influence on the global economy at the tail-end of the third quarter, as a rise in cases of the Delta variant in both developed and emerging economies has derailed previous growth trajectories in recent months. Nevertheless, the recovery remains intact, and central banks have made it clear that they are moving towards tapering of QE, including the Federal Reserve at the September FOMC meeting.

While the growth outlook is not as strong as it was it remains robust, and this is feeding through into demand for oil. As it stands, the recovery appears durable enough for OPEC+ to continue with its plans to boost oil production over the coming months. This will have a stimulatory effect on GCC economies, and we have made upwards growth revisions as appropriate.

 

Regional Economics

Higher oil production drives GDP forecast revisions: The decision by OPEC+ to unwind production cuts from 2020 and Q1 2021 over the coming year, if fully implemented, would imply a significant upside revision to our 2022 oil GDP (and thus headline GDP) growth forecasts across the GCC oil exporting countries. 

Tourism The tourism sector in Dubai will benefit not only from easing of two-way restrictions between the UAE and key source travel markets, but also from an increasingly less restrictive global travel market. 

Lebanon: News out of Lebanon in recent weeks has been positive for the country’s recovery prospects from its current crises. The formation of a new government and the vocal commitment by new Prime Minister Najib Mikati and President Michel Aoun to resuming constructive talks with the IMF could pave the way for a new reform programme.

Global Economics

Global growth slows as inflation pressures rise: Global growth is slowing, according to the most recent economic data for August.  The extent of the slowdown, and in some regions contraction, depends on how governments have responded to the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which in turn has largely depended on progress with coronavirus vaccine rollout.

US: Labour imbalance highlights underlying frictions While some of the mismatch between the demand for and supply of labour is due to the coronavirus pandemic itself, there are other factors at play too. The so-called ‘Great Resignation’ will potentially take longer to iron out than even the residual health concerns and has potential long-run implications for inflation and monetary policy.

US: Macro scorecard, August A round-up of the most widely followed monthly macro data points from the US, compared to expectations and the previous month's results.

Markets

Outlook for oil markets in 2022 The oil market outlook for 2022 remains constructive with the recovery in demand to remain in place, albeit at a slower pace. There will be persistent downside risks to demand related to the Covid-19 pandemic but as more and more economies learn to ‘live with’ the virus we expect that consumption should be able to return to pre-pandemic trends by the end of next year. 

FOMC leans toward tightening in 2022. The Federal Reserve is clear on setting a path for policy normalization, starting with a tapering of asset purchases. Policymakers now also see potentially two rate hikes next year.

 

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