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‘IMF second review dependant on progress of fiscal measures’

By JT - Apr 21,2018 - Last updated at Apr 21,2018

AMMAN — Jordan has taken several financial measures that contributed to reducing the budget deficit despite difficult internal and external circumstances, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department Jihad Azour said on Friday.

The progress and outcomes of these measures — supported by the IMF — are essential for the fund's second review of the Kingdom's economic indicators, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted Azour as saying.

The remarks came during a session on the Middle East and Central Asia as part of the spring meetings of the IMF held in Washington.

Azour said that Jordan took the measures under critical circumstances which included a slowdown in the growth rate that reached 2 per cent, the closure of trade windows to Syria and Iraq, and the implications of hosting a large number of refugees.

He added that the increasing public debt, which has reached above 90 per cent of the the gross domestic product (GDP), requires a "wise" fiscal policy to preserve the economic and financial stability, noting that the IMF's support comprises two parts: fiscal correction and an economic fold.

Azour noted that the IMF mission will visit Jordan to conduct the second review after ensuring that the measures advance in accordance with the fiscal correction plan, adding that communications in this regard are ongoing with concerned authorities in the Kingdom.

According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Finance, overall public debt in Jordan has reached JD27.458 billion at the end of February, accounting for 95.8 per cent of the GDP, compared with JD27.269 billion, or 95.3 per cent of the GDP, at the end of 2017.

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