Complex Made Simple

Regional turmoil remains Jordanian economy’s biggest headache

Country needs to address swelling budget deficit, which stands at JOD24.6bn, comprising 90.9 per cent

The raging civil war in Syria and instability in Iraq remain the main challenges to Jordan’s economy, which has been hit hard by the turmoil in its neighbours, who were its top trading partners.

The regional upheaval continues to block Jordan’s chances to reap the fruits of the steep fall in oil prices as the resource-scare country imports almost all of its energy needs.

Furthermore, a massive influx of Syrian refugees has exacerbated the country’s economic crisis and place heavy pressures on an already-strained economy.

According to a report by Al-Ghad newspaper, the budget deficit amounted to $1.19 billion at the end of November last year compared with $994 million in the same period of 2014.

However, and despite the financial crunch, Jordan managed to sell bonds worth $500 million in international markets at a maturity period of 10 years.

In the meantime, the Jordanian government continues to implement fiscal reforms that saw fuel subsidies totally left out. This helped the kingdom secure a stable outlook by global rating agencies.

Still, the Western Asian Arab country needs to address a swelling budget deficit, which now stands at JOD24.6bn, comprising 90.9 per cent.

(JOD1 = $1.41 = AED5.18, at the time of publishing)