Muscat, 30 Dec (ONA) – The government of the Sultanate of Oman, led by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, made major milestones in a number of financial, economic and monetary indices for the year 2021.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in current prices, as at the end of the third quarter in 2021, rose to RO 24.2 billion. Forecasts point to an expected amelioration of the GDP at current prices to RO 32 billion this year (2021), with a growth rate of 13.8% compared to 2020.
As a result, Oman registered a decline in deficit from an estimated RO 4.8 billion, as was the case before undertaking fiscal management procedures, to RO 1.2 billion by the end of this year, constituting a 75% cut in deficit. As a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the deficit was down from 15.5% in 2020 to 3.8% this year.
Public spending was brought under control, despite financial challenges, which required allocating extra credit to manage the situation. This included addressing the spread of coronavirus and raising the reception/admission capacity of higher education establishments to 31,000 seats, in addition to the allocation of RO 418 million for the payment of overdue balance of previous years, RO1.2 billion for the settlement of the financial dues of private sector companies till the end of 2021 and employment costs and the allocation of RO 200 million to meet the cost of repairing damages resulting from the tropical climatic condition /Shaheen/. Part of the additional credit was routed to cover the government’s contribution towards capital and operational expenses of the oil and gas sectors due to a delay in procedures to establish Energy Development Oman (EDO) company.
Oman registered a 68% decline in the general debt ratio to the GDP, as compared to a planned 83% ratio of debt to GDP.
All credit rating agencies amended Oman’s future outlook for the Sultanate of Oman during this year to “stable” and “positive” status after successive downgrading which started in 2014.
Commodity exports posted an increase of 42.2% till September 2021, compared to the corresponding period last year (2020), while commodity imports rose by 54.3% till September this year, compared to the corresponding period last year (2020).
The Central Bank of Oman’s reserves in foreign currency grew by 31% to $18 billion till the end of December 2021, compared to about $14 billion by the end of December last year (2020).
Total deposits in the banking sector rose by 5.3% to RO 25.2 billion by the end of October 2021, while the total credit balance granted by local banks grew by 5% to RO 27.8 billion by the end of October 2021.