Dispatches from Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq

By Giancarlo Perasso, Lead Economist CEEMA, Global Macroeconomic Research Team at PGIM Fixed Income

In Lebanon, the desire for improvement has seemingly reached critical mass: nearly every official we spoke to indicated that it was time to address the fiscal situation and undertake structural reforms. Our base case for Jordan is that regional allies and Western-oriented institutions remain anxious to keep Jordan within the fold and will likely continue supporting Amman at the cost of material fundamental improvements. Our discussions on Iraq found that current oil production and exports are probably enough to fund the salaries of 4.5 million public employees, likely making Iraq’s public sector wage bill of 17% of GDP the highest in the world.

 

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