العدد 23 - THE WORLD IN NUMBERS IN 2016
The world in numbers in 2016
 Turkey:
GDP growth: 2.8%
GDP per head: 8,750$ (PPP: 20,390$)
Inflation: 7.2%
Budget Balance: (%GDP): -2.2
Population: 77.3 m

The moderately Islamic AK party of the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed back to a sweeping victory in elections in late 2015, just months after a previous vote stripped it of the majority it had held for over a decade. Mr Erdogan, who has ruled throughout that period, first as prime minister and then, from 2014, as the country’s first popularly elected president, is keen to replace the parliamentary system with an executive presidency, and seems unconcerned that the constitution says otherwise. Economic growth will edge higher but will remain well below the boom years of 2010 – 13.

Egypt:
GDP growth: 4.3%
GDP per head: 3,860$ (PPP: 12,040$)
Inflation: 8.9%
Budget Balance (%GDP): -9.2
Population: 86.4m
Elections to the new legislature in late 2015 were expected to consolidate the position of the president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, with the regime tightening its control over the country. A slew of recent laws was designed to make the economy friendly to foreign and private investment, collect more revenue from those with higher incomes, and restructure the electricity sector- all likely to enhance future growth.
 
 Iran:
GDP growth: 6.1%
GDP per head: 6,130$ (PPP: 18,070 $)
Inflation: 14.1%
Budget Balance: (%GDP): -2.5
Population: 80.0 m
It will be a big year, as the lifting of the Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme opens up the economy. A sharp increase in oil output – around 500,000 barrels a day in 2016 alone – will transform the economic outlook. Foreign investors will queue up to re- enter one of the region’s most promising markets. Elections in February to the parliament and the Assembly of Experts, a powerful clerical body, will strengthen the hands of reformists, firming up the new detente.

Iraq:
GDP growth: 5.8%
GDP per head: 5,060$ (PPP: 14,670 $)
Inflation: 2.5%
Budget Balance: (%GDP): -9.6
Population: 36.6m
The campaign to quell Islamic State will grind on, aided by a tacit joint venture between Iran and America. Even where territory is regained, IS guerrillas will undermine security. Kurds in the North will face an economic squeeze from historically low oil prices, and a political one as they seek a smooth leadership transition. In the longer term, stability will require co-operation between Shia, Sunni and Kurdish groups, with partition, de facto or de jure, the price of failure.

Jordan:
GDP growth: 4.0 %
GDP per head: 4,970$ (PPP: 11,130$)
Inflation: 3.0%
Budget Balance (%GDP): -6.5
Population: 7.9m
King Abdullah II will pursue modest political reform to satisfy some critics, but will lean on his armed forces and loyal legislators to guarantee his authority. Sporadic protests are likely, but nothing will threaten the regime’s survival. American aid flows are helping the country absorb 1.4 m refugees from Syria.
 
 Lebanon:
GDP growth: 2.3%
GDP per head: 9,410$ (PPP: 15,760$)
Inflation: 1.2%
Budget Balance (%GDP): -7.6
Population: 5.7m
The war in neighbouring Syria will overshadow any domestic issues as the country struggles with an influx of refugees and the security crisis on its borders. Rivalries will haunt the coalition government, holding up key appointments and reinforcing sectarian divisions. Foreign investment will expand, thanks in part to companies relocating from Syria.

Morocco:
GDP growth: 4.1%
GDP per head: 3,060$ (PPP: 8,220$)
Inflation: 1.6%
Budget Balance (%GDP): -4.8
Population: 34.8m
The ruling party will maintain its dominance in parliamentary elections scheduled for November 2016, but will once again need coalition supporters in a fragmented legislature. The king, Mohammed VI, will remain the ultimate decision – maker. Austerity measures required to narrow the budget deficit will spark street protests, but not on a scale to alarm the regime.


Saudi Arabia:
GDP growth: 2.3%
GDP per head: 23,960$ (PPP: 55,340$)
Inflation: 3.5%
Budget Balance (%GDP): -11.4
Population: 31.1m
The main job of the new king, Salman bin Abdul – Aziz al –Saud, who turns 80 in late 2015, is to engineer the transition to the next generation of rulers. Regional rivalry with Iran, being played out by proxy in Yemen’s civil war, may intensify. The kingdom is locked in an oil- price war with US shale drillers, but has itself taken a deep hit from low oil prices.
 
 Syria:
GDP growth: 1.3%
GDP per head: 1,380$ (PPP: 3,910$)
Inflation: 23.6%
Budget Balance (%GDP): -11.0
Population: 17.9m
Bashar al Assad’s regime will struggle to survive the year, even with Russia’s support. There is no prospect of an end to civil strife with or without him, since his departure would bring a free- for-all among the groups seeking to replace him, compounded by the two international blocs taking sides in the conflict: Russia and Iran on the one hand, and the US, EU and gulf states on the other.



Israel:
GDP growth: 3.6%
GDP per head: 37,550$ (PPP: 34,500$)
Inflation: 1.3%
Budget Balance (%GDP): -2.6
Population: 8.5m
Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, leads a religious/ right- wing coalition that will be prone to infighting and enjoys, just one-seat majority in the legislature. It is unlikely to finish its four- year term. Relations with the Palestinians will remain raw and violent, and Israel’s hostility towards the West’s rapprochement with Iran will fester. Hopes for a boost from gas exports have been dented by the discovery of large reserves in Egypt.