Algeria notched up a $10.5bn deficit for 2018, the tenth in a row, though the lowest since oil prices crashed in the second half of 2014. But the numbers have taken a turn for the worse this year. And political instability presents a further downside risk.
Freshly released financial stats from the Bank of Algeria show the country’s deficit falling by 9% (13% in dollar terms) to a five-year low of $10.5bn for 2018.
The country – which appears to be entering a chronic period of political instability with elections canceled this week – saw its 2018 finances boosted by a 32% rise in oil prices to an annual average of $71.4/B for Algeria’s Saharan Blend crude, the highest level since 2014.
But lower export volumes, down 9.5% for oil and 6.3% for gas, mean that gains in revenue lagged price rises. Oil and gas revenues, at AD2,755bn ($23.5bn) for...