ALGIERS, June 23 (Reuters) – Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $7.3 billion in the first five months of this year and are expected to decline by $5 billion from now until the end of the year, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said on Saturday.

“Reserves stood at $90 billion at the end of May and should decline to $85 billion by the end of 2018,” Ouyahia said after a meeting with members of his National Rally for Democracy (RND) party on television.

Reserves were $97.3 billion in December 2017, down from $114.1 billion the previous year, $144.1 billion in 2015 and $178 billion in 2014, when crude oil prices started falling, until partly recovering this year.

Oil and gas earnings, which account for 95 percent of total exports and 60 percent of the state budget, fell to $33.6 billion in 2017 from $63 billion in 2014.

Ouyahia said Algeria must make further efforts to cope with financial problems caused by the loss of energy revenues. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Ulf Laessing and Mark Potter)


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