“Bread prices will remain fixed at JD0.16 ($0.23),” says Judeh. “As everyone knows, the biggest challenge currently facing the government is the hike in prices and alleviating their impact on people. We are taking the needed economic measures to meet that goal.”

Inflation in Jordan has reached 13.3 per cent mostly because the government removed subsidies from petrol and diesel in February, leading to price increases across most sectors of the economy.

The 2008 budget deficit is expected to increase from the JD724m forecast at the beginning of the year to about JD826m, according to the Ministry of Finance’s figures.