Low crude prices have hit Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves, forcing the government to make further cuts in spending. According to Algerian Prime Minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, foreign exchange reserves are expected to drop to $116b by the end of 2016, Reuters reported.
TVC News informed that the budget cuts, standing at 9%, will mainly suspend country’s infrastructure projects. In this sense, Sellal noted: “State policy will not be directed towards austerity, but there will be a decrease in spending.”
The North African country’s energy earnings, which make up 95% of its exports and 60% of the state budget, have fallen 41% to $35.72b last year, while its reserves dropped $6.1b to $136.9b in the first five months of 2016.
Algeria has been taking measures to adapt to falling income due to low oil prices, including raising prices for subsidized fuel and electricity prices, cutting back on infrastructure projects, and trimming budget spending. However, its reforms are being slowed down by disputes between reformers trying to reduce dependency on oil and gas revenue, and an older guard, hesitant to liberalize a state-dominated system.