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RIYADH: Food prices are expected to rise another 14% in 2022, after hitting historic highs in 2021, the International Monetary Fund has said.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the international agency noted that commodity markets in the Middle East and North Africa are being hit by inflation from the Russian-Ukrainian war, with prices soaring .

In a blog posted on the IMF’s website, its economists warned that “rising commodity prices, propelled upward by the war in Ukraine, will have a significant economic impact on the region.”

The IMF expects the regional inflation rate to remain high at 13.9% in 2022, a substantial increase from last year.

After the Russian invasion, oil prices soared to $130 a barrel and are expected to average $107 by 2022, up $38 from 2021, he added.

In its Regional Economic Outlook, the IMF had revised its growth forecast for the MENA region as a whole by 0.9 percentage points to 5%, but said: “This reflects an improved outlook for oil exporters , helped by higher oil and gas prices.

For oil-importing countries, the agency downgraded its projections, “as rising commodity prices add to challenges stemming from high inflation and debt, tighter global financial conditions, uneven progress in immunization and the underlying fragilities and conflicts in some countries”.

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