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IMF: Jordan economy to grow 2.6% in 2023, but unemployment too high

May 18, 2023 at 1:24 pm

In this photo International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen in Washington D.C., United States on April 11, 2023 [Celal Güneş / Anadolu Agency]

An IMF team and the Jordanian government yesterday reached a staff-level agreement regarding the sixth review of the economic reform programme.

The completion of this review will bring the total IMF disbursements since the start of the programme in 2020 to approximately $1,750 million. This agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s senior management and the Executive Board.

The IMF mission’s team visited Jordan from 3-17 May to carry out its sixth performance review, as part of the government’s economic reform programme.

Jordanian Finance Minister Mohamad Al-Ississ said, during a press conference at the conclusion of the sixth review yesterday, that the government and the IMF mission succeeded in reaching an agreement on the sixth review of the economic reform programme within the specified time.

He added that this review is a cornerstone to confirm the resilience of the Jordanian economy, and the confidence of the international community and global international financial institutions in the stability of the Jordanian economy, supported by financial and monetary reforms.

According to the Governor of the Central Bank, Adel Sharkas, Jordan’s success in completing 6 reviews of economic reform with the IMF on time reflects Jordan’s commitment to moving forward with qualitative and sustainable structural economic reforms, despite the challenges in the global environment.

In turn, the head of the IMF mission to Jordan, Ron van Rooden, said that the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) “has successfully maintained monetary and financial stability. It remains committed to the peg and has raised policy rates in line with the U.S. Federal Reserve.”

Rooden expected the Jordanian economy to continue to grow this year by 2.6 per cent, noting that a growth rate between two and three per cent is not enough to improve the living conditions of the citizens. He added that the IMF views the unemployment rates in Jordan as still too high, especially amongst youth and women, and that this confirms the need to continue structural reforms.

According to the World Bank, the unemployment rate reached 22.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to 19.0 per cent during the same period in the fourth quarter of 2019, prior to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: World Bank: Jordan could face ‘shocks’ due to high poverty rates