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Monthly Insights - February

Khatija Haque - Head of Research & Chief Economist
Edward Bell - Senior Director, Market Economics
Daniel Richards - MENA Economist
Jeanne Claire Walters - Senior Economist
Published Date: 28 February 2023


2023 has started on a strong note, with economic data from developed economies showing surprising resilience in the face of an unprecedented interest rate hiking cycle in the US. With some measures of inflation also surprising to the upside, the market has repriced its expectations for interest rates over 2023 to align more with the Fed’s hawkish tone.  We now expect at least two more 25bp increases in rates in upcoming meetings, before the Fed is likely to pause. However, this will be very much dependent on the inflation and employment data in the coming weeks and months.

GCC survey data has also been relatively robust at the start of the year, with PMI surveys pointing to solid expansion and an improvement in business conditions in Saudi Arabia. In Dubai, the hospitality saw an increase in both hotel occupancy and revenue per available room over January 2022. With higher interest rates on the horizon, the sector is likely to look to the return of Chinese visitors to offset potential weakness in other markets over the course of the year. 

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