During 2007 the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) experienced average growth of 5.7 percent. This was the fifth year in a row in which the region grew at a rate higher than 5 percent, exceeding levels reached in the 1990s and early 2000s. This performance occurred in the context of an external environment marked by three major developments: a continued rise in the price of hydrocarbons, turbulence in international financial markets following the sharp drop in market valuations of U.S. mortgage- backed securities, and a sharp rise in the price of non- oil commodities, especially foodstuffs. These developments have affected the various MENA economies in different ways. On average, however, the region has done well, with respectable growth and comfortable external and fiscal balances. Similar performance, that is, average growth of about 5.6 percent, is expected over the next three years. Oil prices are expected to remain buoyant, leading to high levels of investment and remittance flows within the region. Food prices are also expected to remain high. Because most countries in the region subsidize food and energy, high food prices will lead to fiscal pressures for many governments. But such pressures are not expected to choke off economic growth. Global financial turbulence and a likely slowdown of growth in the Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development (OECD) countries are expected to be offset by continued robust spending among oilexporting countries and vibrant expansion in China and India.