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Gulf economy planners face 2019 challenges

Uncertainty over oil prices is creating problems for GCC states as they prepare budgets for the year ahead

Not so long ago, Gulf state economists were making projections for 2019 on the basis of oil remaining in the region of $80-90 a barrel. But developments over the past weeks have forced them to get their calculators out again, as prices slipped to less than $70 a barrel. Fears about global oil shortages eased, as the US granted waivers to eight states to allow them to continue buying oil from sanctioned Iran, and President Trump urged Opec states to produce more. Another factor is the rise of US oil production to 11.6m barrels a day. The expected global tight supply has not materialised. The dilemma that economic planners in the Gulf states face is that the market looks like remaining uncert



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