Financial situation improves, deficit shrinks as revenues grow, says CBO

Muscat: The financial situation of the Sultanate has showed signs of improvement due to rise in oil prices during the current year. A growth in both oil and non-oil prices along with the government policy of cutting public expenditure has contributed significantly in reducing the budget deficit, according to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).

The deficit has registered RO 2.6 billion as to the end of July this year compared with RO 4 billion in the same period of last year. The average of Oman crude oil price stood at $51.6.

According to statistics, the total expenditure in the first eight months of this year stood at RO 8.1 billion while the total revenues stood at RO 5.4 billion. Revenues followed an upward trajectory this year in line with the gradual recovery of oil prices with the lowest revenue level of RO 304 million seen in January and the highest in April at RO 886.

Net revenues from oil after transfer to reserve funds amounted to an approximated RO 3 billion gas net revenues registered RO 957 million. Non-oil revenues recorded RO 1.446 billion.

A few days back the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published its economic outlook for Oman forecasting the gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 3.7 per cent in 2018. It also projected the balance of payment deficit to decrease from 18.6 per cent in 2016 to 14.3 per cent this year. The IMF also forecasts a decline in Oman’s balance of payment deficit as a percentage of the GDP to 13.2 per cent in 2018 and to 6.1 per cent in 2022.

Amal Rajab

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