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Fri 22 May 2015 07:11 PM

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Jordan's economy 'robust' despite regional conflict

Central bank governor says kingdom is on track to achieve an IMF-approved target of around 3.8% growth this year

Jordan's economy 'robust' despite regional conflict

Jordan's economy is robust despite violence along its eastern and northern borders with Syria and Iraq, the central bank governor said on Friday.

Zaid Fariz said the kingdom was on track to achieve an IMF-approved target of around 3.8 percent growth this year in gross domestic product (GDP), against 3.1 percent in 2014, with the economy benefiting from lower oil prices that have also reduced the current account deficit to around 9 percent and lowered production costs.

"The economy is resilient despite the turmoil around us," Fariz told Reuters on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum meeting in the Dead Sea.

Jordan's budget deficit is expected to drop to 1.8 percent of GDP this year with losses at state electricity firm NEPCO reduced to 600 million dinars from 1 billion dinars last year and with its arrears wiped by next year, Fariz said.

NEPCO piled up debts after it was forced to pay independent power producers for energy generated by from costly diesel and heavy fuel after the suspension of cheap Egyptian gas.

Inflation was expected to decline to around 1.8 percent this year, with less than 1 percent inflation so far, Fariz said.

Click here for all the stories from our coverage of the World Economic Forum, MENA, in Jordan