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Libya: Country Economic Forecast: 25 Jan 2012

5 Pages Oxford Economics January 25, 2012 SKU: OFE6784626

Despite widespread celebration at the end of Colonel Gaddafi's 42 years of dictatorial rule and relief that the conflict did not split the country, the way forward remains extremely murky. The NTC has promised elections for June 2012, but it faces a huge challenge in uniting the country. The immediate task is to disarm the numerous militias - otherwise the situation could degenerate into civil war. The elections in June will lead to a Public National Conference and an interim government, followed by a new constitution, and then fresh elections. But the timetable may prove to be over-ambitious and the NTC now faces mounting criticism from the people. After so many years of dictatorship, the road to democracy is likely to be bumpy, as is the case in Iraq and Egypt. With most formal business activity having come to a virtual standstill and oil output estimated to have fallen by 70% in 2011, we still think that GDP fell by about 40% last year. But oil output is recovering quite strongly, reaching 800,000 b/d in December, half the pre-crisis level. However, given the major political uncertainties, which will deter FDI, business activity and tourism, the overall recovery will take some time. Based on latest oil output trends, we now forecast GDP growth of about 30% in 2012, followed by 12% in 2013. The 70% slump in oil exports will have led to a small current account deficit in 2011. But assuming that the oil industry continues to recover, rising oil exports and still-high oil prices could see a return to surplus in 2012.

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Libya: Country Economic Forecast: 25 Jan 2012

Oxford Economics
January 25, 2012

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