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The six oil and gas exporters who make up the GCC – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain – are focusing on trimming government spending sooner rather than later in response to falling oil prices.
With prices for the OPEC crude basket – generally representative of medium-sour Gulf export grades – standing at around $83/B, down $25/B in the past four months, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has called for urgent fiscal consolidation in the GCC countries.
Ms Lagarde has found a receptive audience, with GCC finance officials only too aware that lower oil revenues necessitate spending cuts sooner rather than later.
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