The dawn of 2023 marks an end to a mixed-bag year for Iraq. Despite oil export revenues reaching a record $115bn (MEES, 6 January) thanks to prices being stoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 and Iraq gradually hiking oil output as Opec+ cuts eased, the country’s economy was pushed to the brink as a long political deadlock over new government formation curtailed spending (MEES, 9 September 2022).
Government spending typically accounts for a third of GDP. And as Baghdad was left with a powerless caretaker cabinet in place and no 2022 budget to pass, parliament was left with no choice but to intervene with a $17bn emergency financing package as a stop-gap measure by 1H22 (MEES, 10 June 2022). (CONTINUED - 1181 WORDS)