Austerity bites as governments raise debt and cut spending

Issue 1101 - 24 Apr 2020

Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) governments have been raising debt and cutting budgets in an attempt to keep ballooning fiscal deficits under control, as the costs involved in locking down economies to limit the spread of Covid-19 are compounded by the oil price collapse.The scale of the challenge was made clear in the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO), released on 14 April. The WEO predicts double-digit deficits for five GCC states, ranging from 11.1% of GDP in the case of the UAE to 16.9% for Oman.

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