AMMAN — Out of 205 countries listed in the World Bank's 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) global rankings, Jordan ranks as the 91st country with a GDP reaching $42 billion in 2018, according to the ranking issued July 1, 2019.
While Jordan's GDP has been increasing consistently since 2010, the economy does not appear to be fairing as well as mere GDP figures would indicate when comparing the Kingdom's GDP with the size of the population, economist Mazen Irsheid conveyed to the Jordan Times on Sunday.
"The constant decline in GDP per capita in the past years means that many Jordanians have lost a big deal of their purchasing power due to higher inflation and interest rates accompanied with low performance of key economic sectors, mainly tourism and exports," Irsheid said.
While Jordan's GDP per capita grew for the first time in five years in 2018, it did so only slightly, with the Kingdom experiencing only a marginal GDP per capita growth of 0.13 per cent, according to World Bank figures.
When examined alone, while Jordan's GDP may be increasing, it is doing so at a comparatively slight rate due to geopolitical and economic issues, investment consultant and economist Wajdi Makhamreh told The Jordan Times on Sunday.
"The [GDP] growth rate in Jordan is still a minimal rate given the geopolitical issues that Jordan is facing concerning the Syrian refugee crisis, the low investment that is happening in Jordan, the high debt ratio that Jordan is facing," Makhamreh said.
Due to such obstacles, Makhamreh said that a conservative prediction of GDP growth in 2019 would see a growth rate that does not exceed 2.1 to 2.3 per cent, given Jordan's struggling economic situation.
In order to improve Jordan's economy, Irsheid believes the Kingdom should strengthen relations and trade with others in the region.
"One of the important ways to improve the economy is by speeding up trading activities with Jordan’s two key neighbouring countries, Syria and Iraq, and allowing goods to flow to and from both countries in a mutually beneficial manner," Irsheid said. "That would strengthen Jordanian exports which were hammered drastically since 2010 as a result of border closures with both countries."