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The International Monetary Fund’s Article IV reviews of Oman and Bahrain, published on 12 and 14 February respectively (following ‘virtual missions’), give further detail of how the Gulf Co-operation Council’s weakest economies have fared over the past year. Oman’s GDP fell by 6.4% last year, which was better than a previous IMF estimate of a 10% slump. Bahrain’s economy shrank by 5.4%, as non-oil GDP fell by 7%. The IMF praised both countries’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the restrictions they imposed on travel and businesses, and their additional expenditure on healthcare and social support.
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