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Oman pledged to create 25,000 public sector jobs by December, a move aimed at staving off potential unrest over unemployment but one that risks adding to a budget gap that was the Gulf's widest last year.Oman has a subinvestment grade status at S&P Global Ratings.The hiring plan could spur private consumption amid slow growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector, said Carla Slim, an economist at Standard Chartered in Dubai. She expects Oman's 2017 budget deficit to exceed the government's target of 11.7 billion Omani riyals ($30.4 billion), though higher oil prices this year should narrow the deficit relative to 2016 .
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