EconSource: Yemen Struggles Towards Fuel Price Reform as Finances Crumble

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

A clampdown on state spending was an effort by Yemen’s government this month to win public support before its biggest economic reform in years: higher fuel prices. But an angry public may not be won over. In the long run, reducing the subsidies would be good news for the state budget; they cost about $3 billion last year, or a third of state revenue. Some of the money freed up by the reform could be used to increase fuel supplies, easing the shortages which anger the public. [Reuters]
Jordan’s economy, burdened by an influx of Syrian refugees and turmoil in neighboring countries, is not growing fast enough to tackle high unemployment rates and the kingdom needs to pursue wider labor market reforms. The government’s austerity measures have limited new public sector jobs, while moderating growth is failing to absorb new labor entering the market. [Zawya DJ, Jordan Times]
The economist behind a plan to unlock at least $380 billion worth of assets from Egypt’s black market says President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi must first restore another asset that has depreciated over the years: the trust of a wary public. He has given Sisi a plan outlining specific changes to the bureaucracy and legal code needed to integrate an estimated 60 percent of the population into the system by registering and documenting ordinary Egyptians’ assets. [Reuters]
Also of Interest:
Mehleb instructed state bodies to reduce expenditures | Egypt Independent
Egyptian T-bill yields jump after rates raised | Reuters
Egypt PM: Electricity prices to gradually increase over five years | Cairo Post
Jordan’s banks continue to perform strongly | OBG, SPYGhana
Reserves crisis jeopardizes Libya’s future | Al-Monitor
Staff at Benghazi public services company demand unpaid wages | Libya Monitor 
Morocco: Four regions contribute to half GDP growth | MWN
Tunisia hires Natixis and JP Morgan for seven-year US Aid-backed bond | Reuters
Yemen still cannot access foreign aid | Yemen Post