The Washington-based IMF has encouraged Muscat to accelerate economic reforms in the sultanate to put public finances on a sustainable trajectory.

The comments come after the IMF concluded its Article IV consultation with Oman on 20 June.

Oman has posted double-digit fiscal and current account deficits since oil prices dropped in 2014. This has led to large increases in government and external debt and a decline in external buffers.

Higher oil prices and spending cuts brought the overall deficit down to below 13 percent of GDP in 2017.

The IMF says that government measures to raise non-hydrocarbon revenue, such as introducing value-added and excise taxes, and continued spending restraint would bring the deficit to around 4 percent of GDP in the next two years.

Non-hydrocarbon economic growth picked up slightly in 2017 to about 2 per cent, from 1.5 per cent in 2016. Overall real GDP growth turned negative at -0.3 per cent due to a cuts in oil output due following the implementation of the OPEC+ agreement.

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