Iraq economy forecast to grow 9% in 2013

Iraq’s economy should grow 9 percent this year as the OPEC nation’s oil production expands and international reserves are expected at between $105-$110bn by the end of this year, a central bank official said on Friday.

Iraq has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and is producing more than 3 million barrels of crude per day for the first time in three decades as its industry recovers from years of war and sanctions.

“I expect the GDP will reach $150bn by the end of 2013. It will be 9 percent (growth),” acting central bank governor Abdul-Basit Turki told Reuters at a banking conference in Baghdad.

The central bank has previously said it expected growth in 2012 to be around 10 percent and reserves in December last year were around $70bn.

Iraq’s oil sector generates around 95 percent of government revenue, but the country still needs investment in other non-oil sectors and to improve its crumbling infrastructure and power generation systems.