Libya’s economy to shrink by 5.1% in 2013, says IMF

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Libya’s economy is expected to shrink by 5.1 percent in 2013 due to a wave of strikes blocking oil exports, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.

Protests from militias, tribes and civil servants at oil ports and fields has reduced Libya’s oil output to a fraction of its capacity of 1.25 million barrels a day.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said the government might struggle from next month to cover budget expenditures due to the strikes. Oil is the main source for the budget.

The IMF expects Libya’s GDP to shrink by 5.1 percent this year, it said in its latest regional outlook. It said oil production would gradually pick up but “pre-civil war output levels may not be reached for many years.”

Libya used to pump 1.4 million bpd until summer and 1.6 million bpd before Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.

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