The Sultanate’s budget deficit fell 91.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 to reach RO 26.3 million, compared to RO309.1 million in the same period of 2019, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The deficit constitutes 0.4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices.
Total public revenue decreased by 3.5 per cent to RO 2.6 billion, compared to RO2.7 billion for the same period of 2019. The total public expenditure decreased by 12.5 per cent to reach RO2.6 billion.
GDP at current prices fell 3.9 per cent, down from RO 7 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to RO 6.75 billion in 2020. The decline is due to the decrease in the total value-add of non-oil activities from RO4.9 billion in Q1 2019 to RO 4.6 billion in Q1 2020.
The total value-add of oil activities increased by 0.7 per cent to reach RO 2.43 billion in the first quarter of 2020, compared to RO 2.41 billion in 2019. This rise is due to the increase in crude oil’s value added by 2.6 per cent, while the value add of natural gas decreased by 9.1 per cent, reaching RO 356.7 million in the first quarter of 2020, compared to RO 392.5 million for the same period of the previous year.
As for the indicators of foreign trade, the NCSI data show that the surplus in the trade balance in the first quarter of 2020 decreased by RO 88.6 million, compared to the same quarter of the previous year of 2019 reaching RO 1.5 billion. The decline is due to an 11 per cent dip in the value of merchandise imports, while merchandise exports decreased by 8.8 per cent to reach RO3.5 billion.
Total deposits of the private sector in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 9.1 per cent, reaching RO 15.9 billion, compared to RO 14.6 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 percent, reaching RO 26.4 billion, compared to RO 25.5 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 RO 8.5 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. ONA