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Despite running budget surpluses in the last two years, Iraq is in danger of running costly fiscal deficits in the ‘medium term,’ the IMF said in an Article 4 statement this week.
Government salaries and other current spending is growing so much so that even with exports running at near-record volumes ( MEES, 10 May ), a sizeable deficit is predicted for 2019.
Recently released data from the Central Bank of Iraq shows that Baghdad ran a $21.6bn (ID 25.7tn) surplus last year.
With Islamic State-related security woes subsiding, the main impetus is now for Baghdad to invest in reconstruction projects – particularly given the relatively strong fiscal position of the government ( MEES, 16 February 2018 ). (CONTINUED - 263 WORDS)