The Investment Bank Formerly Known as Merrill Lynch (or Banc of America Securities - Merrill Lynch, for now) predicts that economic growth in the Gulf will fall from 6% in 2008 to nothing this year, with real economic contractions in Saudi Arabia (-0.2%), the United Arab Emirates (-0.6%), and Kuwait (-1.8%). Growth will rebound to staid 2.5% in 2010.
Now, a lot of the economic contraction in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (and partially the UAE) will be due to OPECs production costs, but thats still going to feel very painful after the growth rates of recent years.
By the by, ML analysts estimate that every 100,000 oil barrel a day OPEC production cut will reduce GDP growth by about 0.3 percentage point in Saudi, 1.5 percentage points in Kuwait, and 1 percentage point in the UAE.
If anyone has ice water running through their veins, the former investment bank recommends Qatar and Saudi as their "top macro picks".
Addendum: JPMorgan has a rosier take on the GCC. It forecasts regional growth at 1.8% this year.
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