Iraq’s economy in shambles


By James Cogan:

Economic conditions worsen in Iraq

23 March 2009

The assessments in Washington that Iraq will soon be a relatively stable US client state in the Middle East are beginning to look even more fanciful. After six years of occupation and repression, millions of Iraqis now face a further deterioration in their already appalling living standards due to the unprecedented collapse in world production and trade.

The revenue flowing to the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from oil exports is plummeting. Based on forecasts that oil prices would remain over $100 a barrel, the original budget for 2009 was $US79 billion—a significant portion of which was supposed to be allocated toward rebuilding the infrastructure that has been devastated during the past six years.

By November, with oil prices below $40, spending for this year was slashed to $62 billion. This month, the parliament forced the budget to be lowered again, to just $58.9 billion, as the oil price had not recovered to $50. Instead, global demand for petroleum products is still contracting, even at the lower prices. Iraqi oil exports by volume fell by 5 percent in February, compared with January. International stockpiles of petrol also rose, suggesting that demand will continue to drop.

Report: Chevron asked to bid on Iraq field: here.

See also here on the results of the Iraq war.

Annals of Liberation: The Agony of Iraq’s Women: here.

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