Actual project spending by the Arab countries swelled by around $5 billion in 2022 compared with 2021 despite a sharp fall in Algeria’s spending.

The rise was mainly due to higher capital expenditure by Saudi Arabia and Iraq while such spending was negligible in some Arab states, according to the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), a key Arab League institution.

In a report released recently, the AMF said combined Arab project spending increased to around $132.5 billion in 2022 from nearly $127.8 billion in 2021.

The report, which gave no 2023 data on the grounds some members have not provided updated figures, showed capital expenditure in Saudi Arabia rose to around $38.2 billion in 2022 from nearly $31.2 billion in 2021.

Project spending in Iraq also grew to about $26.6 billion from $23.6 billion while it remained almost unchanged at around $18.9 billion in Qatar.

In other Gulf oil producers, project spending recorded a slight growth to $5.45 billion from $5.44 billion in the UAE and to $2.235 billion from $2.34 billion in Oman.

Project spending in Kuwait declined to $3.6 billion from $4.4 billion and in Bahrain to $505 million from around $532 million in the same period.

Algeria recorded the largest decline, with project spending plunging to around $13.2 billion from about $20.3 billion, according to the AMF.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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