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Oman’s budget deficit down by over 90%: NCSI
July 11, 2020 | 11:00 AM
by Times News Service
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Muscat: The Sultanate’s budget deficit decreased by 91.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, reaching OMR26.3 million, compared to OMR309.1 million in the same period of 2019. The ratio is 0.4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at the current prices, according to the data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

The NCSI report on the Analysis of the Economic Situation in the Sultanate for the first quarter of 2020 indicates that the total public revenue decreased by 3.5 per cent, reaching OMR2.6 billion, compared to OMR2.7 billion for the same period of 2019. The total public expenditure decreased by 12.5 per cent to reach OMR2.6 billion.

The data also show that the GDP at current prices decreased by 3.9 per cent, down from OMR7 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to OMR6.75 billion in 2020. The decline is due to the decrease in the total value added of non-oil activities from OMR4.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to OMR4.6 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

The total value added of oil activities increased by 0.7 per cent, reaching OMR2.43 billion in the first quarter of 2020, compared to OMR2.41 billion for the same period of 2019.



This rise is due to the increase in crude oil’s value added by 2.6 per cent, while the value added of the natural gas decreased by 9.1 per cent, reaching OMR356.7 million in the first quarter of 2020, compared to OMR392.5 million for the same period of the previous year.

The report points out that the decrease in the total value added of non-oil activities in the first quarter of 2020 is attributed to the decrease in value added of industrial activities by 11.5 per cent and those of service activities by 5.2 per cent, while the value added of agricultural and fish field activities increased by 10.3 per cent.



As for the indicators of foreign trade, the NCSI data show that the surplus in trade balance in the first quarter of 2020 decreased by OMR88.6 million, compared to the same quarter of the previous year of 2019 reaching OMR1.5 billion. The decline in the surplus of trade balance is due to a decline in the value of merchandise imports by 11 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, while the merchandise export value decreased by 8.8 per cent, reaching OMR3.5 billion.

The monetary situation indicators in the same report of NCSI shows that the total domestic liquidity (M2) in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 10.2 per cent, reaching OMR918.8 billion, compared to OMR17.1 billion in the same quarter of the previous year of 2019, while the money supply (M1) increased by 10.3 per cent, amounting to OMR5.6 billion.

Total deposits of the private sector in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 9.1 per cent, reaching OMR15.9 billion, compared to OMR14.6 billion in the same quarter of 2019.

The total value of loans and financing granted by commercial banks and Islamic windows in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 3.7 per cent, reaching OMR26.4 billion, compared to OMR25.5 billion in the same period of 2019. The total value of personal loans in the first quarter of 2020 also increased by 1.3 per cent, reaching OMR8.5 billion, where the average of the interest rate on total loans reached 5.5 per cent, compared to 5.3 per cent for the same period of 2019.

The total value of foreign assets in the Central Bank of Oman in the end of the first quarter of 2020 decreased by 0.9 per cent, amounting OMR6.3 billion, compared to OMR6.4 billion in the same period of 2019.

The purchasing power of the Omani Rial at the end of the first quarter of 2020 increased by 1.9 per cent, where the real exchange rate index scored about 106.9 points compared to 104.9 points in the same quarter of the previous year. -ONA



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