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IMF Says Oil-Dependent Countries Lost Out On $390 Billion In Oil Revenue In 2015

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According to the International Monetary Fund, Middle East oil-dependent economies saw a revenue downfall of $390 billion in 2015 due to low oil prices. In addition, the same Middle East countries could realize up to $150 billion in income losses in 2016, as oil prices remain low despite a rally in the commodity since the start of the New Year.

Crude oil prices traded above the $100 per barrel mark in 2014 and have since declined to below the $30 per barrel mark this year.

The Wall Street Journal noted that as a whole, economic growth for Middle Eastern countries is expected to rise to 3 percent in 2016 from 2 percent last year. However, the rise is attributed to improved prospects in Iraq and Iran's desire to increase its oil output following the end of international sanctions that drastically restricted its economic activities.

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Meanwhile, several Gulf nations are slashing subsidies and tapping the debt market.

"2016 is year number two in a multi-year adjustment process to reach balanced budgets," the Wall Street Journal quoted Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, as saying, "Probably another four to five years of action will be needed both on spending and on revenues before reaching a comfortable fiscal situation for many countries," he said.

 

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