Sultanate’s General Budget Deficit Declines by 91.5pc in Q1 2020

Muscat, The Sultanate’s budget deficit value decreased by 91.5% in the first quarter of 2020, reaching RO26.3 million, compared to RO309.1 million in the same period of 2019, constituting a ratio of 0.4% to the gross domestic product (GDP) at the current prices, according to the data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

The NCSI report on the Analysis of the Economic Situation in the Sultanate for the first quarter of 2020 indicates that the total public revenue decreased by 3.5%, reaching RO2.6 billion, compared to RO2.7 billion for the same period of 2019. The total public expenditure decreased by 12.5% to reach RO2.6 billion.

The data also show that the GDP at current prices decreased by 3.9%, down from RO7 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to RO6.75 billion in 2020. The decline is due to the decrease in the total value added of non-oil activities from RO4.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to RO4.6 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

The total value added of oil activities increased by 0.7%, reaching RO2.43 billion in the first quarter of 2020, compared to RO2.41 billion for the same period of 2019. This rise is due to the increase in crude oil’s value added by 2.6%, while the value added of the natural gas decreased by 9.1%, reaching RO356.7 million in the first quarter of 2020, compared to RO392.5 million for the same period of the previous year.

The report points out that the decrease in the total value added of non-oil activities in the first quarter of 2020 is attributed to the decrease in value added of industrial activities by 11.5% and those of service activities by 5.2%, while the value added of agricultural and fish field activities increased by 10.3%.

As for the indicators of foreign trade, the NCSI data show that the surplus in trade balance in the first quarter of 2020 decreased by RO88.6 million, compared to the same quarter of the previous year of 2019 reaching RO1.5 billion.The decline in the surplus of trade balance is due to a decline in the value of merchandise imports by 11% in the first quarter of 2020, while the merchandise export value decreased by 8.8%, reaching RO3.5 billion.

The monetary situation indicators in the same report of NCSI shows that the total domestic liquidity (M2) in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 10.2%, reaching R918.8 billion, compared to RO17.1 billion in the same quarter of the previous year of 2019, while the money supply (M1) increased by 10.3%, amounting to RO5.6 billion.

Total deposits of the private sector in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 9.1%, reaching RO15.9 billion, compared to RO14.6 billion in the same quarter of 2019.

The total value of loans and financing granted by commercial banks and Islamic windows in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 3.7%, reaching RO26.4 billion, compared to RO25.5 billion in the same period of 2019. The total value of personal loans in the first quarter of 2020 also increased by 1.3%, reaching RO8.5 billion, where the average of the interest rate on total loans reached 5.5%, compared to 5.3% for the same period of 2019.

The total value of foreign assets in the Central Bank of Oman in the end of the first quarter of 2020 decreased by 0.9%, amounting RO6.3 billion, compared to RO6.4 billion in the same period of 2019.

The purchasing power of the Omani Rial in the end of the first quarter of 2020 increased by 1.9%, where the real exchange rate index scored about 106.9 points compared to 104.9 points in the same quarter of the previous year.

The detailed report on the economic analysis of the Sultanate for the first quarter of 2020 is available on the website of NCSI.

Source: Oman News Agency