Maghreb Economic Performance: A Fair 2008, But Uncertain Outlook
Official data, as reported by North African governments and published by international financial institutions, seem to show that 2008 was not so bad for Maghreb economies after all.For the three central Maghreb nations, GDP expanded between a low of 4.9% and a high of 6.2%. Although for many analysts these are reasonable rates, they mask two critical realities. The first is that they are too weak to absorb the region's still massive unemployment rates. Maghreb countries will need far reaching policies to create stronger economic activities, the like of China, where growth should be at least in the high single digits, if not in the low teens in an effort to sustain reasonable job creation. The second problem is that as we enter one of the toughest eras facing the global economy, the region's economic growth rates have too volatile, often too low that they could turn nagative. Continue here.