Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

Saudi Arabia will provide Egypt with $3 billion in aid soon, mostly in the form of petroleum products, to help stabilize the country’s economy. Sami Khallaf, adviser to the Egyptian minister of finance, said in a press statement on Wednesday that Egypt has already received $2 billion from the Kingdom. The total aid package is worth $5 billion. He said the $2 billion non-refundable grant was given before the recent visit of Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem Al-Beblawi to the Kingdom earlier this month. [Arab News]
Mahdi Genia says most workers in government jobs will not receive a pay increase this year due to the ongoing oil crisis, which has significantly reduced state revenues. The 2014 budget is based on oil output of 600,000 barrels per day. It is reported that oil output has dropped to around 350,000 barrels per day. [Libya Monitor, sub-based]
Hundreds of protesters gathered Thursday to demand change on the anniversary of Morocco’s pro-reform movement, born out of Arab Spring unrest three years ago, but weaker than it once was. Members of the February 20 movement were joined in Rabat by unemployed school leavers and Berber activists as they waved banners and chanted slogans denouncing corruption, injustice and despotism outside parliament. A separate demonstration was planned in Casablanca. But the numbers — about 300 hundred protesters in Rabat — were far smaller than in 2011, when tens of thousands took to the streets to call for wholesale democratic reform. [AFP]
Economic growth stood at 2.6 percent in 2013 against 3.6 percent in 2012, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS). As regards the fourth quarter of 2013, preliminary results of the quarterly accounts published Thursday by the INS, show that GDP at constant prices edged up 2.3 percent, compared with the same period of 2012, but decreased -0.3 percent, compared to the third quarter of 2013. [TAP]
According to the African Development Bank’s most recent brief entitled “Guided by the North Stars” the Nordic countries in the 1930s had far more in common with North Africa of today in terms of socio-economic challenges. The brief points out that to overcome the challenges of the 1930s, Sweden worked to ensure that regions and municipalities developed together rather than in separate and unequal pockets. Underpinned by the principle of good governance, the Swedish approach decentralized state administrative and fiscal responsibilities and set out a well-defined social contract among society’s major stakeholders. [AfDB]
Also of Interest:
Egypt’s population rises by 1 million in 6 months | Ahram
EFSA sets new regulations for foreign organizations | Cairo Post
Coach blast knocks back Egypt’s tourism recovery | Reuters
Op-ed: Egypt syndicates withdraw financial aid to revolution victims | Al Monitor