Qatar to run third consecutive budget deficit in 2018

Qatar will run a deficit of $7.7 billion in 2018, a third consecutive year in the red due to low energy prices, AFP reported Tuesday (December 12th).

The Gulf state projected spending at $55.4 billion and revenues at $47.7 billion, both slightly higher than previously estimated, the finance ministry said in a statement.

A shortfall of $7.8 billion has been predicted for this year.

The ministry said it calculated oil income for next year at a conservative price of $45 a barrel, unchanged from 2017, despite a sharp rise in crude prices.

In 2016, Qatar posted its first budget deficit of $12 billion after 15 years of surpluses.

The deficit would be financed through the issuance of debt, the ministry said.

Expenditure on major projects was projected at $25 billion next year, almost the same level as in 2017, $3 billion of which would be on World Cup 2022 projects, the ministry said.

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