Algeria to Take Axe to Spending as Energy Revenues Tumble

(Bloomberg) -- Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad ordered urgent spending cuts as the OPEC member battles a fall in income from oil and gas.

Djerad cited a “downward trend in public funds’ availability” caused by rising spending and falling receipts, according to a copy of a memo sent to government ministries and published by local media including Ennahar TV.

“The situation calls for urgent measures to ensure sustainability of public funding,” he said.

The order follows a series of warnings from government officials this month of the economic and social challenges facing the North African nation that’s been locked in a political stalemate for much of the last two years. Oil and gas exports, a major earner for Algeria, fell 40% in value last year and 11% in volume.

Economic Forecasts Minister Mohamed Cherif Belmihoub last week said Algeria was no longer an “oil nation” and that authorities have no data “about society, the environment or the economy.” None of the decisions Algeria needs to make can be taken without data, he said in remarks carried by local media.