Algeria: Weak oil prices trigger 42 bn euro budget deficit

Algeria: Weak oil prices trigger 42 bn euro budget deficit

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 8:19 pm

OPEC member Algeria will post a 41.7 billion euro ($51.2 billion) deficit next year due to the sharp fall in oil prices, according to a budget bill signed Tuesday by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The budget law envisions revenues of 46.9 billion euros and outlays of 88.6 billion euros, an increase of 15.7 percent on this year, for a deficit equivalent to 22.1 percent of GDP.

President Bouteflika: yawning deficit gap

President Bouteflika: yawning deficit gap

But the price per barrel used for revenue calculations is $37, sharply below the latest record low for Brent North Sea crude of $56.74.

The North African nation, which generates 95 percent of its export revenue and 60 percent of government income from hydrocarbons, is being hit by the recent collapse in oil prices that has taken them to levels not seen in five and a half years.

But Bouteflika said he was convinced Algeria “will survive without major difficulties the serious disruptions” in global markets, according to a statement published by the APS news agency.

The budget forecasts GDP growth of 3.4 percent in 2015, a figure rising to 4.3 percent if hydrocarbons are removed from the equation.

Government reserves will be used to cover 88.3 percent of the expected deficit.

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