NEW YORK, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Iraq's economy continues to grow despite continued civil unrest, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.
In its report on productivity in the Middle East, the New York-based economic research group said that Iraq's gross domestic product growth rate increased by 7.3 percent in 2005, compared to a 14.2 percent decrease posted in 1995.
Iraq's growth reflected the overall expansion seen in the region, the board said. Nevertheless, it warned that stagnant productivity levels continue to hold back economic growth in the Middle East and there was still a lack of a middle class that could push economic expansion forward.
Overall, productivity had actually fallen over the past decade in the region compared to U.S. levels to 40 percent in 2005 from 54 percent posted in 1987.