Algeria raises 2020 budget deficit forecast to 10.4% of GDP

ALGIERS, May 26 (Reuters) - Algeria expects its budget deficit for 2020 to reach 10.4% of gross domestic product, up from a previous forecast of 7.2%, due to lower revenues from oil and gas, Finance Minister Abderrahmane Raouya said on Tuesday.

The government has projected oil and gas export revenue for 2020 at $17.7 billion, against a $35.2 billion forecast announced before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that caused a sharp slide in global crude prices, Raouaya told parliament.

The fall in oil prices has already forced OPEC member Algeria to review its financial policy, including reducing public spending and delaying some planned economic and social projects.

“These are exceptional circumstances,” Raouya said.

Algeria’s budget deficit stood at 9.2% of gross domestic product in 2019, slightly up from 9% the pervious year. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed. Editing by Jane Merriman)