EconSource: Egypt Revises Draft 2015/16 Budget to Cut Deficit to 8.9 Percent of GDP

Egypt has amended the draft budget for fiscal year 2015/2016 and cut the projected deficit to 8.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from last month’s projection of 9.9 percent of GDP. The new draft, the second revision of the draft budget published on the finance ministry’s website, projected public expenditure at 864 billion Egyptian pounds ($113 billion), from 885 billion pounds in the previous draft. Projected revenues were also raised to 622.2 billion pounds from 612 billion pounds in the previous draft. However, projected growth for the fiscal year remained unchanged at 5 percent. Wednesday’s draft also cut projected spending on social programs to 429 billion pounds from 431 billion pounds and trimmed a projected subsidy on bread and food commodities to 38 billion pounds from 38.4 billion. The draft budget has not yet been approved by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. [Reuters, 7/1/2015]

World Bank cuts Turkey growth outlook for 2016 and 2017
The World Bank on Wednesday lowered its 2016 and 2017 growth outlook for Turkey while maintaining its forecast for the current year at 3 percent. The growth forecast for 2016 was cut to 3.5 percent from the 3.9 percent forecast in April, while the 2017 forecast was cut to 3.5 percent from 3.7 percent. “We expect private consumption to lose momentum and investment to remain depressed in the second half of the year, as households and corporates are likely to postpone key spending decisions until political uncertainty is resolved,” the World Bank said in the report. Since Turkey’s parliamentary elections, foreign investors’ bond portfolios have fallen $1.7 billion, based on central bank figures, as investors worry that an unstable government will be unable to deliver the structural reforms required to revive growth. [WSJ, Reuters, 7/1/2015]

Saudi Arabia to cut August medium, heavy crude oil prices
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to cut monthly prices for sales of its medium and heavy grades to Asia in August while keeping the price for its flagship light crude more stable, traders said on Wednesday. The Arab Heavy crude price could fall as much as 70 cents a barrel in August, while Arab Light could post a small drop of up to 20 cents. The price cuts reflects lower crude demand in Asia as refining margins weakened. [Reuters, 7/1/2015]

Iraq oil exports hit record 3.187 million bpd in June
Iraq’s oil exports rose in June to a record average of 3.187 million barrels per day (bpd) from 3.145 million in May, the oil ministry said on Wednesday. Exports from Iraq’s southern terminals rose to an average 3.02 million bpd in June from 2.69 million bpd in May, marking the highest exports from the south in decades. Shipments also jumped after Iraq’s decision to split its crude stream into two grades, Basra Heavy and Basra Light, to resolve quality issues. Some companies working in Iraqi oilfields have increased production following the move. Revenue from Iraq’s June oil sales reached $5.318 billion, the ministry said. [Reuters, 7/1/2015]

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