Arab Spring Economic Indicator
Economic Indicators Arab Spring
I want to start off by thoroughly describing what the Arab Spring is. The Arab Spring is a revolutionary movement that spread like wildfire throughout the Arab world. To date there have been some form of revolution in 17 different Arab countries. The impact left by the Arab Spring has not only changed political outlooks but economic ones as well. The things that I am going to look over are how some economic indicators were affected in the region by looking at three different countries in particular: Tunisia, Bahrain, and Yemen. These economic indicators should give a good feel of what the outlook is like on the entire region and how damaging it has been.
Let’s go through these alphabetically, starting with Bahrain. According to a table found on zawya.com the cost to GDP in billions of U.S. dollars was $0.39(“Arab Spring losses” October 16, 2011). The costs to personal finance were $0.69. This all accumulated to a total loss of 1.09 billion U.S. dollars. On top of the decline of GDP and personal finance, the last collected unemployment rate I could find on The World Factbook was 15% in 2005. This number might not seem extreme; however looking deeper into the numbers it said that 44% of the workers in Bahrain are non-national workers. This is a very large number and can be attributing to the high unemployment rate. Looking at industrial production it is important to see what industries are prominent in Bahrain. The leading industries are petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, Islamic and offshore banking, and ship repairing. The most recent statistics about industrial production were from 2010 and Bahrain has a growth of 1.5%. This is misleading because the Arab Spring happened in December of that year. Bahrain’s Retail Report forecasts that the country’s retail sales will grow from an expected $2.18 billion in 2011 to $2.90 billion by 2015(“Bahrain Retail Report Q2 2011” April 15, 2011). This is all based on the assumption that the political situation remains stable. Looking at the GDP per capita of Bahrain and seeing that during the Arab Spring it has only dropped from $27,500 to $27,300 in 2011(“World Factbook, Bahrain” February 8, 2012). This is a strong sign that although the Arab Spring may have hurt the personal income a little it did not affect it significantly.
The second country I chose to look at was Tunisia. Tunisia has had no real growth rate from 2010 to 2011(“World Factbook, Tunisia” February 8, 2012). Tunisia’s GDP per capita in 2011 was $9,500 and ranked 112th in the world. The GDP seems to have been affected by the Arab Offspring because its GDP dropped $100. This directly affected the real personal income of the people of Tunisia because they had less money to spend. Another economic indicator that I looked at was unemployment. Tunisia’s unemployment rate rose 3% from 2010 to 2011(“World Factbook, Tunisia” February 8, 2012). This number seems to have a direct correlation with the Arab Spring and has pushed Tunisia to 151st in the world in unemployment. Another statistic that Tunisia was ranked 151st in was industrial production growth rate. This rate came in at 0%. This might not seem alarming but it means that there was no growth at all in the industrial sector, which is not good for a struggling country like Tunisia. Another economic factor I found was that Tunisia had a -8.5% budget deficit of GDP in 2011(“World Factbook, Tunisia” February 8, 2012). This is just another illustration of the Arab Spring and how it is affecting the economic sector of Tunisia. A leading world producer of phosphates, Tunisia’s annual production of phosphates reached a new high in 2008. Shopping malls and local supermarkets only account for 20% of the country’s retail trade, which remains dominated by the local corner shop. (“Industry & Retail Tunisia 2010”)
The final country that I am looking at is Yemen. In 2011 the GDP per capita in 2011 was only $2,500. This ranked Yemen 177th in the world. The GDP per capita dropped nearly 7.5% from 2010(“World Factbook, Yemen” February 8, 2012). This is a significant drop from one year to another and the reasoning may have been due to the Arab Spring. The drop in GDP per capita would have definitely affected the real personal income in Yemen because there was less money to be used. Another economic indicator that I looked at was economic growth rate. The growth for 2011 in Yemen was -2.5%. This is another factor suggesting the impact of the Arab Spring hurt the economic sector severely. On a positive note the industrial production rate in Yemen went up 9% in 2010, which put them 13th in the world. However, the Arab Spring took place in December and effects of it were probably not felt in the industrial sector until the following year. Although Yemen suffered some losses in 2011, it is expected that the country will recover relatively and forecast real GDP growth of 2.4% in 2012 (“Oman and Yemen Business Forecast Report Q4 2011” September 23, 2011). This is all dependent on the stability of the government that has been stirred up by the Arab Spring.
After gathering all of this information I can firmly say that Arab Spring has definitely affected the political and economic structures in all of the countries involved. The demonstrations affected the political sector, which then had a negative effect on the economic sector. All of the information provided shows the negative outcomes, at least economically, of the Arab Spring.
Central Intelligence Agency, “The World Factbook, Yemen.” Last modified February 8, 2012. Accessed February 16, 2012. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ym.html.
Central Intelligence Agency, “The World Factbook, Bahrain.” Last modified February 8, 2012. Accessed February 16, 2012. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ba.html.
Central Intelligence Agency, “The World Factbook, Tunisia.” Last modified February 8, 2012. Accessed February 16, 2012. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ba.html.
Market Research, “Bahrain Retail Report Q2 2011.” Last modified April 15, 2011. Accessed February 16, 2012. http://www.marketresearch.com/Business-Monitor-International-v304/Bahrain-Retail-Q2-6275196/.
Market Research, “Oman and Yemen Business Forecast Report Q4 2011.” Last modified September 23, 2011. Accessed February 16, 2012. http://www.marketresearch.com/Business-Monitor-International-v304/Oman-Yemen-Business-Forecast-Q4-6611166/.
Zawya, “Arab Spring losses.” Last modified October 16, 2011. Accessed February 16, 2012. http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20111016064955/Arab_Spring_losses.
Oxford Business Group, “Industry & Retail Tunisia 2010.” Accessed February 16, 2012. http://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/product/industry-retail-12.