IMF warns of the Middle East's financial future as oil prices fall

It says that the region has entered an adjustment period

Oil prices have dipped by 1% overnight, front-month Brent crude was trading at $44.61 early this morning - this comes after three weeks of price recovery.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a new warning about the impact that depressed oil prices are having on oil-dependent economies.

Crude oil prices during the past year

The IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department head Masood Ahmed commented that "2016 is year number two in a multi-year adjustment process to reach balanced budgets."

"Probably another four to five years of action will be needed both on spending and on revenues before reaching a comfortable fiscal situation for many countries," he continued.

The institution expects economic growth for oil producers in the region to rise to 3% this year, after registering growth of 2% last year.

The improvement comes as Iraq has increased its oil production, and economic sanctions are gradually lifted in Iran.

Mr Ahmed added that gulf nations need to become less dependent on the public sector to provide jobs.