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Oman has taken the strategic decision to put the brakes on state expenditure in 2014 after three years of sharp post-Arab Spring spending hikes.
Outlining details of the draft budget to the Majlis al-Shura (State Consultative Council) last week, Oman’s Finance Minister Darwish al-Balushi projected a small increase of 4.7% in total expenditure to OR13.5bn ($35.1bn) from OR12.9bn ($33.5bn) in 2013. This implies a real terms increase of just over 1% using Oman’s official projections of 1.5% inflation for both 2013 and 2014 (using the IMF’s latest projections of just under 3% inflation for both years gives a real-terms spending increase of around 2%). (CONTINUED - 935 WORDS)