An oil barrel stands in spill at a facility in Venezuela. Photographer: Bloomberg

IMF's Lagarde Says Oil Exporters Yet to Recover From 2014 Shock

(Bloomberg) -- Oil exporters have not fully recovered from the 2014 collapse of crude prices and the future isn’t bright, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

“Modest growth continues, but the outlook is highly uncertain,” Lagarde told a conference Saturday in Dubai.

“With revenues down, fiscal deficits are only slowly declining, despite significant reforms on both the spending and revenue sides, including the introduction of VAT and excise taxes,” she said. This has led to an increase in debt to 33 percent of gross domestic product last year from 13 percent in 2013, she said.

Since the oil crash, even rich Gulf Arab governments have been running large budget deficits, increasingly tapping global bond markets to plug the gap.

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