QUITO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Ecuador again cut its 2015 budget due to the decline in oil prices, this time by around 2.3 percent and with cuts to be made chiefly in investments, the OPEC country’s government said on Wednesday.
“We’ve taken this decision due to the lack of a recovery in oil prices and the global economic situation which the country is facing,” Finance Minister Fausto Herrera said in a statement.
Of the $800 million to be eliminated, around $100 million will be cut from operating expenses and the rest from investments, he said.
“Basically these are projects that can be deferred to coming years and do not significantly affect economic growth and employment,” he added, without offering further details.
Ecuador’s budget now stands at roughly $34.1 billion. The Andean country in January announced a 4 percent reduction in its original 2015 budget after crude prices slid.
Herrera added next year’s budget will likely forecast average crude prices “no higher than $40 dollars.” (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)