Iraq Economic Forecast

Iraq Economic Outlook

June 7, 2022

In the year to date, the economy has benefitted from higher oil production due to loosening OPEC+ curbs, with oil output up nearly 10% year-on-year between January and April. Moreover, surging oil prices are filling the government’s coffers. On the other hand, the country has been without a government since last October’s elections, which is delaying the approval of new energy projects and much-needed economic reforms. Moreover, a recent Supreme Court ruling has forbidden the caretaker administration from spending more than is set out in the 2021 budget. The ruling, together with the lack of a government, has limited the administration’s ability to use additional oil revenue to offset surging food prices and to pay Iran for energy supplies—Iran recently halted exports of five million cubic meters of gas daily as a result.

Iraq Economic Growth

Growth should accelerate in 2022 thanks to the continued reversal of OPEC+ cuts, higher oil prices and increased investment from China. That said, social discontent over political paralysis and higher food prices, possible extreme heatwaves this summer, power shortages following Iran’s recent reduction of energy supplies and elevated insecurity pose risks. Our panelists forecast growth of 7.8% in 2022, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate, and growth of 4.5% in 2023.

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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