Libya Halves 2018 Budget Deficit But Remains Hostage To Oil And Conflict

Libya recorded its highest revenues in five years in 2018 on the back of a leap in oil prices and six-year high oil output. But it is no closer to exiting its now eight-year ‘transition’ to normality: its destiny, as always, remains tied to oil.

Libya entered its revolutionary year of 2011 with a budget surplus of LD7bn ($5.5bn), a sky-high LD23.7bn spent on development and a healthy 1.5mn b/d of crude output.

Fast forward eight years and the country is in a state of turmoil. It has a government barely in control of its capital city, its largest oil field is shut-in due to security breaches and houses a populace struggling to get-by with years of uncontrollable inflation.

Although Libya ostensibly more than halved its budget deficit to 4.6bn LD ($3.4bn at the official exchange rate of $1=LD 1.36) in 2018, this can hardly be attributed to the internationally recognized Tripoli-government’s performance. (CONTINUED - 999 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

table Libya Public Finances (Ld Bn): Deficit At Six-Year Low In 2018 As Oil Revenues Leap 76%*
chart Libya's Rollercoaster Swings In Output Have Played Havoc With The Country's Finances