Qatar anticipates $12.77 billion budget shortfall in 2016

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The energy-rich Gulf nation of Qatar says it expects to run a budget deficit of more than $12 billion next year as it struggles with a sharp drop in oil and gas prices.

The official Qatar News Agency reported late Wednesday that the 2022 World Cup host nation's budget forecasts revenues of 156 billion Qatari riyals ($42.84 billion) in 2016. That compares with 225.7 billion riyals for the current year.

Government spending next year is expected to reach 202.5 billion riyals, leading to a projected shortfall of 46.5 billion riyals ($12.77 billion).

The 2016 budget assumes an average oil price of $48 a barrel, down from $65 billion last year. The international benchmark Brent crude oil settled at $37.19 a barrel Wednesday.

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