A sharp increase in actual spending has boosted Iraq’s 2023 budget deficit by around 48 percent and most of it would be financed through borrowing, according to an Iraqi economist.

Nabil Al-Marsoumi estimated that the actual deficit stood at around 90 trillion Iraqi dinars ($68.6 billion) last year against a projected shortfall of about IQD63 trillion ($48 billion).

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Marsoumi said the increase in the deficit was caused after the government overshot spending to IQD225 trillion ($171.7 billion) from a projected IQD197.8 trillion ($153 billion).

He said most of the 2023 deficit would be financed through domestic and foreign borrowing after a 2022 budget surplus of around IQD22 trillion ($16.8 billion) was used to cover part of the shortfall last year.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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