Southwest Asia’s biggest country became the leading economy in terms of GDP growth in 2022. Saudi Arabia expanded by 8.7% last year as an energy crisis in Europe boosted oil quotes to record levels. Given that the country is one of the top 5 oil producers, it benefited greatly from record crude prices last year. However, the economy’s growth potential is considered to be limited. According to the IMF, Saudi Arabia’s economic activity is likely to contract threefold to 2.6% in 2023.
Over the past few years, this emerging Asian state has shown impressive GDP performance. In 2021, India’s economy accelerated by about 9%. Despite a slowdown in GDP growth to 6.8% last year, India still remains one of the world leaders in terms of economic development. The country owes its expansion to the thriving IT industry, the rapidly growing air travel market, strong agriculture, and the advanced pharmaceutical industry.
The past year was a difficult one for the European Union, with the ECB’s tightening cycle damaging the region’s economic health. Yet, not all the EU member states were on the verge of a recession. Spain showed the best GDP performance in 2022. The country saw its economy expanding by more than 5% year-on-year amid growing exports and business activity. The last time, Spain’s economy accelerated that much was back in 1973. Nevertheless, the IMF predicts that the country’s GDP will decline to 1.1% in 2023.
Despite the signs of a looming recession, the United Kingdom still managed to weather the crisis. In 2022, its GDP advanced by over 4%. The rise came amid growth in business activity in the service sector. Still, the IMF experts reckon the country will be more at risk in 2023. The British economy will remain under pressure from the hawkish Bank of England this year, with its GDP estimated to drop by 0.6% year-on-year.
Italy also showed resilience to the economic woes of 2023. Last year, the country’s GDP increased by about 4% amid the steady expansion of the services sector. Nevertheless, experts are under no illusion when it comes to Italy’s economic growth this year. The country still relies heavily on Russian energy. It risks facing a surge in inflation and an economic downturn if the EU no longer imports natural gas from Russia at all. According to the IMF, Italy’s GDP could fall by 0.6% in 2023.
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