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IMF sees economic growth in the Mideast improving next year. But the Israel-Hamas war poses risks

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The International Monetary Fund says Middle East economies are gradually recovering as external shocks from the war in Ukraine and global inflation fade. But the escalating war between Israel and the Hamas militant group could dampen the outlook, especially if other regional actors join the battle. The IMF said Thursday that it expects economic growth to slow to 2% this year from 5.6% last year in the Middle East and North Africa. It pointed countries keeping interest rates higher and contending with rising oil prices and local challenges. Growth is expected to improve to 3.4% next year.

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