By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 November 2019:
In its latest bullish report, Libya’s Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL) reported that the country’s oil revenues were up by LD 3.8 bn from a projected LD 22.0 bn to LD 25.8 bn in the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 October 2019.
Total oil and non-oil revenues for the period were up LD 2.052 bn from a projected LD 25.834 bn to LD 27.886 bn. Highlighting the undiversified state of Libya’s economy, oil revenues still constitute 93 percent of state revenues.
Revenues from the hard currency levy were up by LD 5.713 bn from a projected LD 13.167 bn to LD 18.880 bn.
Tax, customs, telecoms, CBL profits, local fuel sales and other state revenues were all down on projections. They have been consistently down over a number of CBL reports.
With regards to outgoings, state-sector salaries still made up the biggest single outgoing at 55 percent of total budget outgoings. However, this was down by LD 1.46 bn from LD 21.15 to LD 19.69 bn.
Operational spending (20 percent) was also down by LD 952 million from a projected LD 8.05 bn to LD 7.69 bn.
Unfortunately, spending on development projects was also down by LD 1.07 bn from a projected LD 4.16 bn to LD 3.09 bn. It constituted only 9 percent of the total budget.
Subsidies, which made up 16 percent of total budget spending, were slightly up by LD 168 million from LD 5.62 bn to LD 5.79 bn.
LD 1.05 bn were spent on subsidies for medical supplies, LD 3.50 bn on fuel, LD 683 million on electricity, LD 342 on public cleaning and LD 217 were spent on subsidies for water and sewage.
An improved macro-economic climate
The CBL reported an improved macro-economic climate with real GDP up from LD 34.9 bn in 2017 to LD 47.1 bn in 2018. It expects this to rise to LD 49.7 bn in 2019.
It also reported that inflation was down from 28.5 percent in 2017 to minus 5.4 percent in Q3 of 2019.
Black market US dollar rates
The CBL also noted that the black-market exchange rate for the US dollar against the Libyan dinar fell from its peak of around LD 9.2 per dollar in 2017 to LD 4.05 in Q3 of 2019.