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RIYADH: Jordan’s gross domestic product increased by 2.6 percent during the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, reported its statistical authority.  

According to the Jordan Department of Statistics, the GDP also rose 2.7 during the first half compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. 

Sector-wise estimations revealed that most economic sectors experienced growth during the second quarter compared to the same quarter last year. 

The report further stated that the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing sectors achieved the highest growth rate of 8.2 percent, followed by the transportation, storage and communications sector at 5.2 percent. 

Moreover, the mining and quarrying sector advanced 4.3 percent in the second quarter, while the manufacturing sector grew at 3.7 percent. 

Interestingly, the restaurant and hotel sector leaped over most other sectors to register a 5.9 percent growth between April and June.  

Last month, the DoS announced a decline of 9.3 percent in Jordan’s trade deficit during the first eight months to 5.3 billion Jordanian dinars ($7.4 billion) compared to the year-ago period. 

In May, Fitch Ratings also affirmed Jordan’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating at “BB-” with a stable outlook. 

This move comes against the backdrop of the country showing macroeconomic stability, progress in reforms, and resilience in the banking sector while having a buoyant public pension fund.   

The rating agency estimated that Jordan’s general government budget deficit declined to 2.7 percent of the GDP in 2022.  

This deficit was below its 3.8 percent forecast in August due to continued growth in tax collection combined with expenditure restraint and reprioritization to accommodate temporary fuel subsidies phased out at the end of 2022.   

“We forecast fiscal consolidation to gradually continue, with the deficit declining to 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent in 2023-2024,” said Erich Arispe Morales, primary rating analyst at Fitch, at that time.   

“The sustainability of the current fiscal strategy will depend on the ongoing reforms aimed at lifting growth prospects and generating employment. Fiscal space is limited, given the high level of debt and a rigid expenditure profile,” added Morales.   

However, the ratings were constrained by high government debt, weak growth, domestic and regional political risks, a sizable current account deficit, and net external debt higher than rating peers.   

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