SIPRI: Global Defense Spend Bucks 4-Year Downward Trend, Oil Plunge Drives Some Cuts by Producers

StockMissileLaunchMDAA new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says military spending worldwide in 2015 posted a year-to-year increase for the first time since 2011 at a rate of 1 percent to $1.7 trillion total.

SIPRI said Tuesday the figure reflects a rise in spending in Eastern and Central Europe, Asia and Oceania and some countries in the Middle East.

The U.S. posted a 2.4 percent year-to-year decline in military expenditures for 2015 but remained the world’s largest defense spender followed by China, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

A worldwide plunge in oil prices that started in 2014 has driven major producers such as Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut some defense spending in 2016.

As of Monday’s market close, the worldwide crude oil benchmark Brent in London has fallen approximately 62 percent over two years.

Exporters Venezuela and Angola have slashed their defense budgets by 64 percent and 42 percent respectively due to the oil crash.

Asia and Oceania posted a 5.4 percent rise in military spending for 2015 driven by the tensions between China and its neighbors such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

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