Oman budget deficit widens in H1 as low oil prices hit revenues

Revenues were down 32 per cent in the first half of the year

Oman’s government posted a budget deficit of OMR3.5bn ($9.1bn) in the first half of 2016 compared with a deficit of OMR1.92bn a year earlier, as low oil export prices slashed its revenues, provisional Finance Ministry data showed.

Revenues during the period reached OMR3.1bn, down 32 per cent compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile expenditure fell by around 3.2 per cent year-on-year to reach OMR5.6bn during the first six months of 2016.

The government’s original 2016 budget plan envisaged state expenditure of OMR11.9bn and revenues at OMR8.6bn.

Officials said their 2016 economic plans assumed an average oil price of $45 a barrel.