Oman’s GDP up 6.5% in Q1

The sultanate has benefitted from rising oil prices



Oman’s gross domestic product grew 6.5 per cent in the first quarter at current prices driven by a rise in oil activities, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.

The sultanate was among the hardest hit in the Gulf Cooperation Council by the plunge in oil prices over the last four years.

But now, with Brent crude up 40.40 per cent over the last year to around $78 a barrel, it is reaping the benefits having seen its state budget deficit halve in the first five months of the year boost by oil export revenues and tax hikes.

Read: Oman budget deficit nearly halves in Jan-May as oil income surges

Officials from the Supreme Council of Planning said in a meeting on Monday that the first quarter GDP growth was driven by a 1.1 per cent rise in oil activities and 100 per cent rise in gas activities.

Non-oil GDP increase 2 per cent, following strong performance from manufacturing (17.8 per cent), mining and quarrying (15 per cent), basic chemicals (14 per cent), agriculture and fisheries (7.6 per cent) and other activities (22 per cent).

However, the construction sector contracted 12.6 per cent and other services were down 3 per cent.

Oman’s original 2018 budget plan assumed an average oil price of $50 per barrel.