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Revealed: Arab Spring Exposes Jordan’s Economic Policy Rifts

Revealed: Arab Spring Exposes Jordan’s Economic Policy Rifts

Increased state spending has spectators predict that the Jordanian government's budget deficit will be nearly 7 percent. But how can Jordan proceed from here on?

October 13, 2011 11:26 by

Last year Jordan issued its first sovereign Eurobond on the international market, raising $750 million. Abu Hammour said the price of those bonds had now dropped about 10 percent in secondary market trading, though he attributed this to pressure on bond prices across the region in the wake of the Arab Spring, and did not rule out Jordan returning to international debt markets next year.

Weak global markets may make it hard for Jordan to issue another international bond, however. In that case, the government will have to continue relying heavily on foreign aid in the coming year. But the fiscal pressures on Jordan mean the aid may not be enough to support solid economic growth; economists worry large government debt issues to local banks to fund the deficit will crowd out credit to the private sector.

“Jordan has to resort to more stringent fiscal policies and ask people to tighten their belts. Otherwise we might become another Greece,” said Anani.

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