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Non-oil GDP is set to rise by 5% in 2016 on IMF estimates, faster than last year; with low and possibly negative inflation. But this has been driven mainly by higher public spending, pushing the current account from surplus to a deficit nearing 10% of GDP due to low oil prices. The fiscal deficit, approaching 14% of GDP, is no longer fully funded by Oil Fund revenues and aid, and rising public and private consumption will lift inflation towards 4% from 2017.
Declining output from original oilfields will cap growth at 1.3% this year and at about 1.5% a year over the medium term, despite rising private investment, unless there is agreement with Australia over maritime boundaries and the implications for oil and gas revenues.
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