By Jeremy Lawrence
GDP grows by 12.9 percent with non-oil revenues rising
Oman has posted positive growth in the first half of this year, thanks to public revenues growing to more than OMR 4 billion ($10.39bn). The state budget has targeted OMR 8.7bn public revenues for the year.
According to the Oman News Agency (ONA), the rise in revenues reflects efforts by the government to reduce reliance on oil revenues and diversify sources of income.
ONA reported that revenues derived from sources other than oil, along with non-tax revenues, grew to OMR 748.2m compared to OMR 532.7m at the same period last year - a growth of 40.5 percent.
Meanwhile, oil and gas revenues rose to OMR 2.8bn compared to OMR 2.1bn at the same period in 2016. Revenues from custom and corporate income tax fell from OMR 473m to OMR 394.8m.
Oil price drops
Efforts to diversify from oil revenues have accelerated since 2014, when prices tumbled from a peak of $115 per barrel in June 2014 to under $35 in February 2016. The Sultanate cut public expenditure by OMR 172.2m to OMR 6.4bn for the first half of 2017.
The state budget for 2017 is estimated at OMR 11.7bn. The OMR 3bn deficit is being met through local and foreign borrowing, as well as withdrawing from public reserves.
GDP grew by 12.9 percent to hit OMR 6.4bn compared to OMR 5.7bn at the same period last year. The GDP for oil related industries grew by 30.6 percent to OMR 2bn compared to OMR 1.5bn at the first quarter last year. Non-oil activities grew by 5.3 percent to OMR 4.6bn, a growth of RO 231m.
These figures are set against a backdrop of low inflation, which stood at 1.6 percent at the end of July 2017.