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DUBAI (Reuters) - Oil exporters have not fully recovered from the dramatic oil price shock of 2014, the head of the IMF said on Saturday, and she cautioned against spending money on “white elephant projects”. “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,” Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, told a conference in Dubai. “This has led to a sharp increase in public debt, from 13 percent of GDP in 2013 to 33 percent in 2018.”.

Lagarde said the uncertainty in the growth outlook for oil exporters also reflected moves by countries to shift rapidly toward renewable energy over the new few decades, in line with the Paris climate change pact, She said there was scope to improve fiscal frameworks in the Middle East with some of the weaknesses emanating from “short-termism and insufficient credibility”, Lagarde said governments in the region might be tempted to favor white elephant projects instead of investment in people and cufflinks debenhams productive potential..

Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest economy, has announced plans to go ahead with three major projects including NEOM, a $500 billion economic zone announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The projects are backed by the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. Lagarde also said across the region, it is common for sovereign wealth funds to directly finance projects, bypassing the normal budget process, while state-owned enterprises in some countries had high levels of borrowing, outside the budget.

She said oil exporters could follow the example of other resource-rich countries such as Chile and Norway in using fiscal rules to protect priorities, such as social spending, from commodity price volatility, Among oil importers in the Middle East region, cufflinks debenhams growth had picked up, but it was still below the level before the global financial crisis, she said, Fiscal deficits remained high, and public debt had risen rapidly - from 64 percent of GDP in 2008 to 85 percent a decade later, she said, Public debt now exceeded 90 percent of GDP in nearly half of these countries..

Speaking about the global economy, Lagarde said the IMF was not seeing a global recession on the horizon, but risks were rising for global growth due to trade tensions and tightening financial conditions. The IMF’s revised forecast sees the global economy growing by 3.5 percent this year, 0.2 percentage points below what it expected in October. “Unsurprisingly, a weaker global environment has knock-on effects on the region through a variety of channels - trade, remittances, capital flows, commodity prices, and financing conditions,” she said.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is exploring alternatives to locating part of its new headquarters in New York in case the plan should fail due to local opposition, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters on Friday, The online retailer has not yet acquired any land for the project, which would make it cufflinks debenhams easy to scrap its plans, the source said, The Washington Post reported the story earlier on Friday, The person briefed on the matter said that Amazon was still working toward winning approval from New York officials and had not given up on the proposal, but was considering potential alternatives to New York..

Earlier, the Post, which is owned by Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, reported that Amazon executives had had internal discussions to reassess the situation in New York and explore alternatives. It cited two unnamed people familiar with the retailer’s thinking. In a statement on Friday, Amazon said it was working to engage with New Yorkers, but did not discuss whether it would change its plans. “We’re focused on engaging with our new neighbors - small business owners, educators, and community leaders,” it said. “Whether it’s building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be.”.

Amazon shares closed down 1.6 percent on Friday, In November, Amazon said it would branch out from its home base in Seattle with plans to create more than 25,000 jobs in two new developments, The cufflinks debenhams world’s largest online retailer plans to spend $5 billion on the developments in Long Island City in New York’s Queens borough, and in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, D.C, and expects to get more than $2 billion in tax credits and incentives with plans to apply for more, Amazon has mailed flyers to Queens residents touting the economic benefits of its New York expansion..