January 20, 2015 / 5:24 PM / 5 years ago

Jordan's 11-month trade deficit up 4 percent

AMMAN, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Jordans’s trade deficit for the first 11 months of year was up 4 percent at 9.45 billion dinars ($13.3 bln), due to a higher bill for imported Saudi oil and lower exports, official data showed on Tuesday.

Imports were up 4.3 percent in the January-November period to 14.87 billion dinars, the Department of Statistics said.

Officials say Jordan’s economy is struggling with the burden of accommodating over 1.4 million refugees from the turmoil in Syria, and that exports have been hit by regional political uncertainty.

A chronic trade deficit and spiralling budget deficit have for years been among the biggest concerns for Jordan’s economic policymakers.

Jordan, which imports most of its energy from Saudi Arabia, saw its crude oil and petroleum products import bill in the first 11 months of the year rise 14 percent to 3.99 billion dinars from 3.5 billion in the same period in 2013, the data showed.

The kingdom’s exports totaled 5.42 billion dinars in the period, up 4.6 percent. ($1=0.709 dinars)

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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