The Jordan government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expect the Treasury to achieve a surplus in 2019 under a new economic reform programme sponsored by the Washington-based international financial institution.
At a meeting on Monday with chief editors of daily newspapers and economic writers, senior government officials said Jordan has reached an agreement with the IMF over the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which would give the Kingdom access to hundreds of millions of dollars over the period 2016-2019.
Under the EFF, in 2019 the budget is expected to achieve a surplus of JD170 million, JD177 million in 2020 and JD183 million in 2021, according to figures made available to the press during the meeting at the Prime Ministry.
In regard to the projected budget deficit for this year and the coming two years, Finance Minister Omar Malhas said that in 2016 the state budget deficit is expected to reach JD918 million or 3.3% of the GDP, adding that in 2017, it is forecast to go down to JD753 million or 2.5% of the GDP while in 2018 it would drop to JD322 million or 1% of the GDP.
The ratio of public debt to the GDP is also expected to see a downtrend over the next six years as it is projected to drop from 93.9% forecast for this year to 93.7% next year, 91% in 2018, 86.3% in 2019, 81.7% in 2020 and 77.2% in 2021.
The overall value of indebtedness is expected to be around JD26.3 billion by the end of this year, Malhas said, indicating that in 2017, it is projected to grow by JD1.4 billion to JD27.7 billion.
From 2018 until 2021 growth in public debt is expected to slow as it is forecast to reach JD28.6 billion in 2018, JD28.9 billion in 2019, JD29.2 billion in 2020 and JD29.4 billion in 2021.
The IMF expects the Kingdom's economy to expand by 2.8% this year, 3.3% in 2017, 3.8% in 2018, while in 2019, 2020 and 2021 the economy is expected to grow by 4% respectively.