MUSCAT: At least 180% rise in the trade balance surplus reflects a smart recovery in the Sultanate of Oman’s economy.
Owing to prudent fiscal policy, the trade balance surplus grew by 185.8 % to reach OMR4.71 billion in the first half of 2022 compared to OMR1.65 billion during the same period in 2021.
The export of goods increased by 61% and non-oil exports by 51.2% during the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
Dr. Nasser bin Rashid Al Mawali, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, reaffirmed that there is a tangible improvement in performance of Oman’s economy that can be noticed in the performance of the General Budget and the improvement in the Sultanate’s credit rating by global agencies.
The improved credit rating by international agencies operating in the field is shown in the key economic indicators be it at the level of performance of economic activities or the consumer prices and labour and employment conditions which represent a key pillar in measurement of the economic condition and reflect in one way or the other the improvement in the performance of economy in general.
He stressed that maintaining safe and reasonable levels of inflation is a fundamental gain of economic policy, as it enables the Sultanate of Oman to remedy the crisis of supply chains for foodstuffs and added that the performance of the public finances indicates a decrease in the total public debt of the Sultanate by 11.5 percent to reach about OMR 18.4 billion at the end of August 2022.
One of the indicators that is considered evidence for the same is the growth (at the current price) of the GDP during the first half of 2022 by 32.4 percent to reach OMR20.26 billion compared to OMR15.30 billion during the same period in 2021. At the fixed price, the GDP improved by 3.9 percent to reach OMR17.59 billion during the first half of 2022 compared to OMR16.93 billion during the same period in 2021, he added.
The improvement is accompanied by the increase in the value added to oil activities by 9.2 percent forming 34.1 percent of the GDP during the first six months of 2022 against 32.5 percent during the same period in 2021 and the increase of the value added to non-oil activities by 2.1 percent during the same period in 2022, he said.
He said there are other factors which helped in the improvement of the economic indicators, notably the increase in crude oil prices in the world markets coupled with the efficiency of the financial and economic policies followed by the Sultanate to avail benefits from such increases, including the support to the efforts at economic recovery during the Covid 19 pandemic. The factors also included the focus on optimal utilisation of oil revenues for achievement of fiscal balance and announcement of a number of development projects, he said.
Speaking on the growth of economic activities during the first half of the current year at fixed prices, he said the transport and storage activity and the activity of hotel stay and food services registered noticeable growth rates at 29.4 percent and 29.2 percent, respectively. The activity of mining and manufacturing activity has registered an increase of 15.4 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively, during the same period, he added. Oman’s total public debt decreases by 11.5%
He indicated that the current economic conditions provide a broader expansion space to move in flexible options for economic and development planning, and it is expected that the gross domestic product will continue on its upward path during the second half of 2022.