DEAD SEA, Jordan, May 25 (Reuters) - Jordan's economy is expected to grow around 3.5 percent this year driven by remittances, higher domestic consumption and some pickup in construction activity, the kingdom's Central Bank governor said on Saturday.
Ziad Fariz told Reuters on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum (WEF) conference on the Middle East that the latest estimate, compared to 2.7 percent growth posted last year depended on several factors, including the extent of the impact of a large Syrian refugee influx on the aid dependent economy that would only become clearer by year-end.
Jordan's economy, which imports almost all its energy and commodity needs, has suffered from Arab Spring uprisings in the region. Tourism receipts, remittances from Jordanian workers abroad and investment inflows have been hit.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said earlier this year it expects the economy to expand above 3 percent in 2013, reflecting an increase in government capital spending, a recovery in exports and higher domestic consumption.
Fariz said inflation was also expected to ease slightly to around 5 percent this year from an higher 6 percent estimate with lower food prices. It stood at 4.5 pct last year.
Other signs of recovery include foreign reserves which have been boosted by at least $1.5 billion of Gulf money and greater confidence in the local economy by investors, officials say.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; editing by Ron Askew) Keywords: JORDAN ECONOMY/
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