The turmoil following the Arab Spring uprisings has all but decimated the affected countries’ economies. Political assassinations and polarization in Tunisia, civil unrest and a military coup in Egypt, terrorist attacks in Yemen, an institutional vacuum in Libya, and civil war in Syria have contributed to a sharp fall in investment, tourism, exports, and GDP growth, aggravating macroeconomic imbalances. For example, Egypt’s fiscal deficit now stands at 14 percent of GDP, with public debt approaching 100 percent of GDP.
Worse, most of the Arab Spring countries lack buffers to withstand further economic shocks. But such shocks are likely, given that, beyond the removal of individual autocratic leaders, few of the problems that fueled the uprisings have been addressed.… Seguir leyendo »