Jordan’s 2016 budget, approved in January and published formally as law the following month, shows the country on a steady, inexorable climb toward a debt-to-GDP ratio of over 100%. This year’s budget does next to nothing to reduce a deficit that ballooned to JD 930mn ($1.31bn at the fixed exchange rate of JD1= $1.41) for 2015. For the 2016 budget both spending and revenue are hiked by $1.1bn from 2015, though given that spending is larger, the gains in spending are somewhat lower in percentage terms (10.1% versus 11.6% for revenue).

For 2016 spending is pegged at $11.98bn with an assumption of $10.70 billion in revenues and a resultant $1.28bn deficit.One potential source of better-than-budgeted news could come from foreign grants. Jordan has budgeted for seemingly-conservative receipts of JD 810mn, well down on actual 2015 receipts. (CONTINUED - 911 WORDS)