DUBAI - The Libyan economy is expected to contract by 5.1 percent this year due to oil output disruptions triggered by protest blockades, the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday.
The government will also experience a budget deficit, instead of enjoying a surplus, due to falling oil revenues, said Masood Ahmed, the IMF Middle East and Central Asia director.
"The Libyan economy is likely to contract this year, rather than expand," due to disruption to production, Ahmed said at a Dubai conference, where he launched the IMF's Regional Economic Outlook report.
The report predicted a 5.1 percent shrinkage of the Libyan economy this year.
Economic growth in the North Africa country had surged last year by 104.5 percent, compensating for a massive contraction of 62.1 percent in 2011, the year the regime of the late dictator Moamer Gathafi was toppled.
Protesters, including ex-rebels, demanding a fairer distribution of resources and jobs, have been blocking oil fields and export terminals, causing around $13 billion in losses to Libya's oil-dependent economy, authorities say.
Current output is estimated to have dropped to 250,000 barrels per day, from 1.5 million bpd before the protests erupted in July, an official at Libya's National Oil Company said last week.