(March 2013) "In Tunisia, protesters escalated calls for the restoration of the country's suspended constitution. Meanwhile, Egyptians rose in revolt as strikes across the country brought daily life to a halt and toppled the government. In Libya, provincial leaders worked feverishly to strengthen their newly independent republic," thus wrote 'Foreign Affairs,' the US magazine in 2011. It was referring to events in 1919, long before the Internet was conceived.
(November 2012) The economic outlook for the Middle East and North Africa region is mixed. Most of the region’s oil-exporting countries are growing at healthy rates while the oil importers face subdued economic prospects.
(August 2012) Egypt's democratically elected president, Mohamad Morsi, and his government are struggling to stabilise a battered economy which have seen currency reserves plunge from $36bn before the ouster of the Mubarak regime in February 2011 to $14.42bn last month. The one bright spot is the low level of external debt which is at 16% of GDP (gross domestic product). On Wednesday, Egypt requested a loan of $4.8bn from the IMF (International Monetary Fund).
(July 2012) Emerging market growth slowed slightly in Q2 2012 as a solid performance from the services sector was offset by only modest growth in manufacturing, the HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI; pdf) shows. The EMI slipped to 53.0, from 53.6 in Q1. The service sector is still expanding at a moderate rate, although has slowed from the pace seen this time last year. The level of activity in the manufacturing sector is broadly stable as demand from Western economies remains lacklustre.
America could end its reliance on Middle East oil by 2035; Russia dependent on average oil price of $117 to balance its budget
(July 2012) America will halve its reliance on Middle East oil by the end of this decade and could end it completely by 2035 due to declining demand and the rapid growth of new petroleum sources in the Western Hemisphere, energy analysts now expect. Meanwhile, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers estimates that production, now at 1.7m barrels a day, could nearly double by 2020, enough to supply nearly 20% of US oil consumption. With that, the oil sands would be producing more than Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq or Kuwait. By 2020, nearly half of the crude oil America consumes will be produced at home, while 82% will come from the West Atlantic, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). By 2035, oil shipments from the Middle East to North America "could almost be nonexistent," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recently predicted, partly because more efficient car engines and a growing supply of renewable fuel will help curb demand. Russia is meanwhile becoming more dependent on its energy exports and this year, it need the oil price to average $117 per barrel, to balance its budget.
Fourfold increase in oil prices in past decade and world has absorbed price hikes with little disruption
(May 2012) Despite a fourfold increase in oil prices over the past decade, the world has absorbed the price hikes with relatively little disruption due to fundamental changes in the workings of the global economy, and the use of macroeconomic policy to mitigate the effects of rises. During the current economic downturn, the price of oil hit over $100 a barrel, and prices rose close to levels only seen in the 1970s. But the increases have not triggered global recessions as they did in the 1970s and 80s.
(May 2012) A global survey of CEOs and senior executives shows that demand for Sharia orientated products and services is strong, and expected to grow. Among the reasons: expanding Muslim populations, rising purchasing power, shifting consumption patterns, and a broader range of products and services on offer. The range of Sharia-orientated products and services is broadening, from food and Islamic finance products to pharmaceuticals, fashion and tourism, among others.