Iraq Economic Forecast

Iraq Economic Outlook

October 5, 2021

Conditions likely improved somewhat in the second quarter, as the downturn in the energy sector should have eased on a more favorable base effect. Turning to Q3, the oil sector seemingly strengthened further as OPEC+ continued to lessen production cuts: Crude output was higher overall in July–August than in the previous quarter, which, coupled with higher average oil prices in the same period, bodes well for government revenues. In the political arena, the country is gearing up for the 10 October general elections, for which authorities and the UN are collaborating to avoid voter fraud and guarantee fairness. A Shiite Muslim majority is expected to retain power in parliament, and the vote should not result in a substantial shift in policy.

Iraq Economic Growth

GDP should return to growth this year. That said, the recovery will be frail due to lower average crude output compared to last year and a weak business environment. Growth should accelerate markedly in 2022, although potential further social unrest and instability poses a downside risk. Our panelists forecast growth of 2.5% in 2021 and growth of 5.5% in 2022, which is up 0.4 percentage points from last month’s estimate.

Iraq Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)4,6774,6065,1335,5715,636
GDP (USD bn)165167191212220
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.613.8-
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)22.28.0-  -  -  
Unemployment Rate10.710.813.012.912.8
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-12.8-13.9-1.67.9-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)56.964.358.949.3-  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1,0961,1821,1851,1931,194
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)1,1481,1711,1771,1921,193
Current Account (% of GDP)-
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-
Trade Balance (USD billion)
Exports (USD billion)51.341.357.686.481.6
Imports (USD billion)40.329.132.238.949.4
Exports (annual variation in %)-39.9-19.639.450.0-5.5
Imports (annual variation in %)-19.0-27.910.720.827.1
International Reserves (USD)50.942.045.660.8-  
External Debt (% of GDP)38.639.436.4-  -  

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Iraq Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate1,1940.0 %Jan 01

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