Gross domestic product (GDP) growth accelerated to 6.3 per cent in 2003 from only 1.8 per cent in 2002, according to the latest annual report from the Central Bank of Oman (CBO), released in mid-July. The good news for the government, as it continues economic diversification, is that the increase in non-oil income was almost as great as that in the hydrocarbons sector.
Hydrocarbons revenue grew by 6.5 per cent, in spite of an 8.8 per cent decline in oil production, with gas output rising by 7.9 per cent. An average price for Omani crude of $27.8 a barrel, compared with budgeted income of $20 a barrel, helped turn a forecast budget deficit of RO 400 million ($1,025 million) into a surplus of RO 119.1 million ($305.4 million). The current account surplus was RO 556 million ($1,426 million), equivalent to 6.1 per cent of GDP. The growth in the broad M2 measure of money supply slowed to 2.5 per cent from 5.2 per cent in 2002. Bank credit to the private sector increased by a sluggish 1.2 per cent.
A MEED Subscription...
Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.