Jun 28 2012
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Economy grows 'better than expected' in Q1
On Wednesday, the Department of Statistics (DoS) reported that the gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 3 per cent in the first three months, higher than the 2.26 per cent during the same period of 2011 and down from the 3.1 per cent rate in the fourth quarter of last year.
The growth rate is higher than officials' and analysts' expectations of around 2.5 per cent pace.
The fact that international oil prices and the euro exchange rate versus the US dollar are on a decline will help Jordan reduce its imports bill, he explained, pointing out that the number of tourists coming to the Kingdom and remittances of Jordanian expatriates are rising.
"Jordan's economy is relatively small, which can achieve faster recovery," he added.
Analyst Zayyan Zawaneh also expected the economy to perform stronger in the second and third quarters, describing the 3 per cent rate as positive.
"The growth rate reflects optimistic forecasts in light of regional turmoil," said Zawaneh, a former adviser at the International Monetary Fund and the Central Bank of Jordan.
Jordan should benefit from higher tourism receipts this year due to stability and security advantages over regional competitors, he added, agreeing with Mansur that external factors -- drop in euro exchange rate and oil prices -- represent an opportunity for Jordan's economy.
For the entire year, the analyst expected the GDP to grow by 3.5 per cent, a figure he believed is "fair" with ongoing global and regional uncertainties.
According to the DoS report, the hospitality sector, hotels and restaurants registered the highest growth rate in the January-March period at 14.2 per cent followed by electricity and water sectors at 8.9 per cent and social services at 8 per cent.
© Jordan Times 2012
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