The Sultanate’s state budget deficit has seen a 53% drop with the deficit at OMR 0.66bn (660mn) as compared to OMR1.4bn for the same period in 2018, according to Oman’s Government Communications Centre (GC).
“The Sultanate’s financial performance has improved during the first half of the ongoing year in light of average oil prices stabilising and the continuation of the procedures undertaken by the government to ensure that the financial and economic situation is sustainable,” the Centre said in its statement.
“A large upsurge in hydrocarbon exports and non-oil exports, and moderation in imports led to an improvement in the external sector with the current account deficit declining to about OMR1.7bn in 2018 from around OMR4.2bnin the previous year. The CBO continued to pursue policies and implement measures that support growth in the economy, the report said.
Nominal GDP decreases by 1.6%
Meanwhile, the country’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 1.6% in the first quarter of 2019 mainly due to weakness in industrial and construction activities, according to National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), which added that the Sultanate’s total GDP at current prices reached OMR7.066bn in the January-March quarter of this year from OMR7.183bn in the same period in 2018.
According to the figures, the Petroleum GDP decreased by 0.5% to OMR2.412bn in the first quarter compared to OMR2.425bn in the corresponding period in 2018. The value of crude oil production decreased by 2.5% to OMR2.018bn and value of natural gas output jumped 10.8% to OMR394.7mn. The petroleum sector makes up over 34% of the nation’s overall economic activity.
Non-petroleum GDP also decreased by 0.5% to OMR4.968bn this year against OMR4.994bn recorded in the first quarter of 2018, according to NCSI report. There was a drop of 4.8% to OMR1.317bn in the first quarter in the industrial sector, compared to OMR.383bn in the same period of 2018.
The construction sector saw a fall of 14.8% to OMR452.1mn in the January-March period this year, compared to OMR530.4mn in the same period last year. Figures also showed that Services sector saw a 0.4% growth in value of output at OMR3.478bn in the first three months of this year against RO3.465bn in the same period a year ago, while wholesale and retail trade fell to 6.6% (OMR498.4mn) this year compared to OMR533.3mn in the same period of 2018.