Oman’s economy grows by 10%, deficit narrows
January 22, 2018 | 5:26 PM
by Times News Service
The average price of Oman Crude rose by 27.8 per cent to $51.3 per barrel in 2017. — Times file picture

Muscat: Oman’s economy has achieved a robust 10.1 per cent growth rate at OMR20.33 billion for the first nine months of 2017, mainly driven by a remarkable growth in crude oil prices in the international market and surge in non-oil activities.

The average price of Oman Crude surged ahead by 27.8 per cent to $51.3 per barrel during January-December period of 2017, against $40.1 a barrel for the same period of 2016, shows the monthly report released by National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) on Monday.

With an increase in crude oil price, the economy started gaining strength since the beginning of last year, reversing a slackness witnessed during the previous two years.

The oil sector’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 23.9 per cent to OMR6,248 million in the first nine months, whereas the non-oil sector edged up by only 4.9 per cent to OMR14,700.3 million.

Total production

But the total production of crude oil in Oman fell by 3.6 per cent to 354.26 million barrels for 2017, against 367.56 million barrels of crude oil for the previous year.

The non-oil sector’s GDP grew by 4.9 per cent to OMR14,700 million during the January to September period of 2017, up from OMR14,016.8 million for the corresponding period of the previous year. Non-oil GDP was mainly driven by a surge in basic chemicals and mining activities, said the report.

Deficit narrows down

The budget deficit for the first eleven months between January and November showed a marked fall of 33.2 per cent to OMR3,296.6 million, against OMR4,937.6 million, added the report.

An increase in revenue and austerity measures helped the government contain the budget deficit, said a market analyst.

The government revenue increased by 16.2 per cent to OMR7,219.7 million for the first eleven months of 2017, from OMR6,210.5 million for the same period of 2016.

Net oil revenue alone rose by 31.2 per cent to OMR4,058.5 million for the January to November period of this year.

Also, public expenditure rose by 8 per cent to OMR10,416.3 million from OMR9,648.1 million during the period under review.

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