People on the farmer's market in the centre of Amman
Jordan's trade deficit widens by 10.5pc in first half
Amman, August 21, 2014
Jordan's trade deficit widened in the first six months of this year by 10.5 percent to 5.35 billion dinars ($7.5 billion) compared with the same period in 2013, due to a higher bill for Saudi oil and increased consumption, official data showed on Wednesday.
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 percent in January-June from a year earlier to 8.3 billion dinars, 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 percent to 2.26 billion dinars against 1.77 billion last year, the data showed.
The kingdom's exports totalled 2.94 billion dinars in the period, up 6.8 percent from 2.75 billion dinars in the same period last year. – Reuters