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IMF says Trinidad and Tobago faces economic challenges following oil price slump

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the recent changes in the energy markets represent a major economic challenge for Trinidad and Tobago whose exports are heavily linked to these markets.

IMF official Elie Canetti, who led a recent visit to the island, says although it is difficult to know where the markets will settle, the drivers of energy price declines appear likely to endure.

Canetti says the IMF supports the governmentís prudent decision to prepare revised budget plans based on conservative price assumptions.

He further says the multilateral lending agency backs Trinidadís goal of returning to the original 2014/15 target of a fiscal deficit of 2.3 per cent.

Oil prices have plunged from a high of US$115 per barrel last June to US$46 yesterday.

The falling prices have forced Trinidad and Tobago to review its national budget, which had been pegged on a price of US$80 per barrel of oil.

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