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Alternative Market Briefing

The Big Picture: Dr. Rania Azmi: Arab Spring increased unaccounted-for informal economy

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Dr. Rania Azmi
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

An Opalesque column for global macro investors.

According to a research piece by Deutsche Bank, the Arab Spring, which started on December 17, 2010 with Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation in Tunisia, resulted in increased political pluralism and nascent democratic institutions. Protesters during the Arab Spring demanded more inclusion in economic and political life, better governance and strengthened civil liberties.

The Spring also led to instability, setbacks in the transition towards democracy, mass protests, clashes among former revolutionary allies as well as the rise of political Islam. This instability, which is still ongoing, has taken a toll on the region’s economies.

Timeline of Arab Spring. Source: Wikipedia.

The economic consequences of the Arab Spring

This Deutsche Bank piece focuses on the Arab countries in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) and the Levant region (Lebanon, Jordan and Syria) as well as Yemen. It lists the economic consequences of the Arab Spring thus:

1. Average real GDP growth in the region fell from 4.2% in 2010 to 2.2% in 2011, its lowest level in over a decade. Average real GDP growth increased only slightly to 2.4% in 2012.

2. Pro......................

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