EconSource: Tunisia’s Parliament Unveils 2015 Draft Budget
Interim President Medhi Jomaa on Wednesday presented draft proposals to the 2015 state budget to the newly elected parliament and urged its members to maintain the pace of  structural reforms taken to stabilize the country’s economy. Jomaa said that his administration had taken aggressive measures to combat a stagnated growth rate, high unemployment, and rising commodity prices but emphasized the fragile state of the country’s economy. The prime minister implored members of the legislative body to adopt new structural reforms, including a recently proposed finance bill, in order to address trade deficits, lagging productivity and low foreign investment. The 2015 draft bill forecasts a growth rate of 3 percent and an inflation rate of 5.2 percent.

[TAP, Reuters, 12/11/2014]

Jordan growth to accelerate next year on cheaper oil

According to Jordan’s deputy central bank governor, Jordan’s economic growth is expected to accelerate to 4 percent in the next year due to the falling oil prices. Jordan imports all of its oil  and thus benefits from the low prices which lessen the burden on the country’s account deficit. In the short term, cheaper oil strengthens the government’s position by reducing fuel subsidies and losses by the state electricity company. In the medium term, low oil prices could negatively affect growth by reducing foreign direct investments and remittances from the Gulf. [Reuters, 12/10/2014]

Al-Thinni seeks to control oil revenues by bypassing central bank in Tripoli

Libya’s recognized government in Tobruk wants to control the country’s oil revenues by stopping any payments through Tripoli bank accounts out of its reach. The central bank, which books oil revenues, has sought to stay out of the political struggle, but each warring bloc has appointed its own competing officials to run the vital oil sector as well as the state National Oil Corporation. In an attempt to corral the country’s oil revenues, Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said his government would set up an alternative payment system that bypasses Tripoli. He boasted that his government controlled up to 80 percent of Libya’s oil ports and terminals. It remains difficult to assess what level of control each authority has over the country’s oil revenues. [Reuters, Libya Monitor (subscription), 12/11/2014]

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