The “heart-breaking” conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas represents a “new cloud” looming over the world economy, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Thursday, report agencies.
“Very clearly, this is a new cloud on not the safest horizon for the world economy, a new cloud darkening this horizon — and of course, not needed,” she said at a news conference at the annual meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Marrakech, according to Reuters.
According to the latest IMF projections, global economic growth will slow from 3.5% in 2022 to 3% this year and to 2.9% in 2024.
She stressed that the IMF is closely monitoring developments and especially the effects on the oil markets. A multi-pronged terrorist offensive by Hamas and Israel’s retaliation have sharply heightened tensions in the Middle East, raising market concerns over the stability of crude production from the oil-rich region.
The Hamas attacks on Isreal came nearly 50 years to the day of the anniversary of the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1973, which led to Arab members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries declaring an oil embargo against the U.S.