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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Earnings from gas and oil soar for Algeria

Increase helps to push down deficit by more than a third

A traffic jam in Algiers, Algeria. In February, the government said it was considering cutting petrol subsidies as part of its economic reforms. Anis Belghoul / AP
A traffic jam in Algiers, Algeria. In February, the government said it was considering cutting petrol subsidies as part of its economic reforms. Anis Belghoul / AP

Algeria's energy earnings rose 19 per cent in the first nine months of 2017, helping to reduce the country's trade deficit by 38 per cent from a year earlier, but imports remained high despite restrictions, official figures showed on Monday.

The deficit fall pushed up the coverage of imports by exports to 76 per cent, from 62 per cent in the January-September period of 2016, according to customs data.

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Algeria set to earn more cash from energy exports

Algeria’s lacklustre austerity weakens GDP outlook

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Oil and gas exports, which accounted for 94.6 per cent of sales abroad, reached US$24.41 billion in the first three quarters of 2017 against $20.52bn in the same period last year.

The value of overall exports rose 18.2 per cent year-on-year to $25.79bn, while imports declined by 2.9 per cent to $33.92bn, the data showed.

Algeria's state finances have been hit badly since oil prices started falling three years ago, forcing the government to take measures to cut spending, including import restrictions.

Authorities have announced plans to cut the import bill by $15bn this year from $46bn in 2016.