AMMAN (Reuters) – A rebound in Jordan’s economic expansion to a forecast 2.5% in 2021 relies upon on ongoing economic exercise through the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s finance minister stated on Sunday.
Growth contracted by 3% in 2020, hit by lockdowns, border closures and a sharp fall in tourism all through the pandemic, but the government and the Worldwide Monetary Fund (IMF) equally forecast a bounce of related magnitude this year.
“This forecast depends on the assumption of ongoing economic exercise without imposing any lockdowns, if the contrary transpires, this progress estimate will not be reached,” Mohammad Al Ississ informed deputies for the duration of a spending budget speech in parliament.
The country’s general public finances and equilibrium of payments have been strained by the collapse of tourism and decreased remittances from workers overseas, with unemployment soaring to a history 22% thanks to bankruptcies and layoffs.
But the gradual reopening of most of Jordan’s important enterprise and production actions considering the fact that previous summer helped its economy temper previously IMF estimates of a critical 5% contraction in 2020.
“The financial cost of the pandemic is substantial. It had a deep adverse influence on our financial state that posted a contraction for the first time in a long time,” Al Ississ said.
He extra that the principal aim of this year’s 9.9 billion dinar ($14 billion) point out price range was to retain fiscal prudence to assistance ensure financial balance.
The governing administration sought to minimize the key deficit to 3.7% of GDP from 5.7 % final calendar year by sustaining the tempo of fiscal consolidation and reforms to overcome rampant tax evasion and stamp out extra than $1.4 billion in tax exemptions, he reported.
Jordan’s motivation to IMF reforms and investor assurance in the country’s enhanced outlook helped it to manage secure sovereign ratings at a time when other rising markets have been currently being downgraded, Al Ississ said.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi Editing by Toby Chopra and David Goodman and Kirsten Donovan)
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