Official data showed that Jordan’s trade deficit increased 10.5% to JD5.35bn ($7.5 bn) in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2013, due to a higher bill for Saudi oil and increased consumption. Zawya reported. Officials say Jordan’s economy is struggling with the burden of accommodating an influx of over 1.4 million Syrian refugees fleeing turmoil in their country while inflows of foreign direct investments have been hurt by regional political uncertainty. Imports rose 9.2% in January-June from a year earlier to JD8.3bn, according to the Department of Statistics data. A chronic trade deficit and spiralling budget deficit have for years been among the biggest concerns for Jordan’s economic policymakers. Jordan, which imports most of its energy from Saudi Arabia, saw its crude oil import bill in the first six months of the year of the year rise 27% to JD2.26bn against JD1.77bn last year, the data showed.
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