Oman posts $12.5bn deficit for first 10 months of 2016

19 December 2016

The sultanate’s budget deficit for 2017 is forecast to be $7.7bn

Oman’s budget deficit rose to RO4.8bn ($12.5bn) for the first ten months of 2016, 45 per cent more than RO3.3b shortfall that was projected for the full year at the end of 2015.

The deficit increased about 2 per cent from the RO4.42bn recorded for the year so far at the end of September, according to statistics released by Oman’s National Centre for Statistics and Information.

The rising deficit was in large part due to declining oil revenues on the back of low oil prices.

The budget gap for the first ten months of the year was 47.6 per cent higher than the RO3.25bn registered for the same period last year.

Government revenues for the first ten months of 2016 showed a decline of 25.5 per cent to RO5.51bn - with net oil revenue falling 41 per cent to RO2.77bn this year from RO4.69bn in 2015.

Gas revenues also decreased by 7 per cent to nearly RO1.1bn for the same period.

Total public spending also fell in tandem with the decline in oil revenues - falling 8.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

Public expenditure reduced to RO8.92bn from RO9.76bn for the same period in 2015. Current expenditure remained steady at RO6.43bn, while investment expenditure declined nearly 20 per cent to RO2bn.

The sultanate’s budget for 2016 had been projected with a RO3.3bn deficit, on the assumption of oil price at $45 a barrel.

The budget for 2017 has not been released, although it has been forecast with a deficit of RO3bn based on the same oil price assumption.

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