The preliminary data for Sultanate’s national accounts indicate that nominal gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 8.7 per cent during 2017 as compared to a contraction of 3.0 per cent in 2016.
The recovery in oil price since the second half of 2017 resulted in hydrocarbon sector growth at 20.8 per cent during the year in comparison with a decline of 20.7 per cent in 2016 and 39.2 per cent in 2015.
Growth in non-hydrocarbon sector also accelerated to 3.9 per cent in 2017 from 2.6 per cent during previous year, reflecting the success of diversification efforts.
The sectoral analysis of non-hydrocarbon activities indicates that non-petroleum industrial sector witnessed a growth of 1.8 per cent in 2017 against a contraction of 2.9 per cent in 2016 while agriculture and fishing and services witnessed a decelerated growth of 7.0 per cent and 4.6 per cent, respectively, during the year.
Among non-petroleum industrial activities, mining and quarrying grew highest by 15.7 per cent followed by manufacturing and electricity and water supply by 9.2 per cent and 5.7 per cent, respectively during 2017. The construction activities, however, declined by 7.7 per cent during the year.
The balance of payments also recorded an improvement mainly due to recovery in oil prices and pick-up in non-oil exports and current account deficit declined to OMR4.1 billion in 2017 from OMR4.7 billion during 2016.
International oil prices made further gains in 2018 and accordingly, Omani oil price averaged US$63.90 per barrel during January-June 2018 as against US$51.80 a barrels during the same period in 2017.
During January till March 2018, the trade balance increased to OMR1,266.1 million from OMR857.6 million during the corresponding period last year.
Inflationary conditions continued to remain benign in the Sultanate and the average consumer inflation moderated to 0.7 per cent during January-June 2018 from 1.9 per cent in the same period last year.