Muscat, The preliminary estimates of the closing of the government finance accounts for the fiscal year 2018 indicate a decrease in the state budget deficit from RO3 billion according to the approved budget to RO2.7 billion.
These calculations show that the main reason for the decrease in the expected deficit was due to higher revenues to about RO10.9 billion compared to budget estimates of RO9.5 billion.
It should be noted that the annual deficit of the general budget of the state has gradually decreased during the past three years as a result of the measures taken by the government during this period to face the sharp drop in oil prices, which led to a decrease in expenditure from RO15.2 billion in 2014 to about
RO13.6 billion, according to the preliminary estimates of finance accounts, in addition to the increase in non-oil revenues from RO2.2 billion in 2014 to RO2.4 billion in 2018, besides the improvement in oil prices during this period.
As a result of these factors, the deficit decreased from RO4.6 billion in 2015 to RO2.7 billion in 2018.
In the economic aspect, the National Centre for Statistics and Information announced the preliminary results of GDP at current prices until the end of the third quarter of 2018, which indicates a growth rate of 15.3% compared to the same period last year 2017.
These statistics also show that non-oil economic sectors have grown well during this period. For example, the mining and quarrying sector grew by 16.4%, other manufacturing sectors grew by 14.7%, agriculture and fish sector 7%, real estate, leasing and business activities 6.6% percent.
These indicators reflected the Sultanate’s exports of non-oil activities, which increased by 25% during the same period to reach RO2.95 billion. On the price side, the inflationary pressures in the Sultanate remained generally limited. The average inflation rate for the year 2018 based on the consumer price index of the Sultanate was about 0.88 percent.
The statistics showed that the rate of registered job seekers decreased by 5.3 percent in December, and the rate at the Sultanate level was 1.8.
The total value of real estate activity in the Sultanate at the end of December 2018 amounted to RO2, 641,100,00 million, an increase of 1.2% compared to the same period of 2017 which amounted to a total value of RO2,609,400,00.
An IMF expert said he saw no credit crunch in the Sultanate, but advised quick financial reforms. Some international reports suggest the Sultanate needs to develop fiscal policies that enhance financial sustainability and the outlook for the national economy.
Source: Oman News Agency