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Firm oil prices give scope for more balanced economic decisions

Few can feel comfortable in a region where Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries will need to borrow some $148bn next year to cover their budget shortfalls, as Moody’s Investors Service predicted in a report issued on 5 December. Fiscal deficits will not be closed any time soon, not least because new revenue generators like the value added tax (VAT) due to be introduced in Saudi Arabia and the UAE in January are often matched by new spending commitments to ensure social and political stability is maintained

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African Energy Gulf States Newsletter