By John Lee.
According to a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the fall in oil prices since mid-2014 is expected to shift the current account balance from a surplus of 1 percent of GDP in 2014 to a deficit of 7 percent of GDP in 2015 and 6 percent of GDP in 2016.
The analysis finds:
“The overall balance of payments deficit will reach $14 billion in 2015 and $11 billion in 2016, which will be financed mostly by a large drawdown of official foreign exchange reserves.
“Official gross foreign exchange reserves held by the CBI would fall from $67 billion (13 months of imports of goods and services) in 2014 to $51 billion (9 months) in 2015, and $43 billion (7 months) in 2016.
“Reserves should resume their rising trend in 2017 and beyond owing to rising oil revenue: they should gradually increase from $48 billion (7 months) in 2017 to $88 billion (10 months) in 2020.”