Oman


Oman economy grows 2.8%



Muscat: Oman's gross domestic product (GDP), calculated at market prices, grew by 2.8 per cent to OMR30,627.7 million in 2013, up from OMR29,797.7 million posted the previous year.

The GDP measure, which takes into account taxes and subsidies, comes against a government growth projection of five per cent and the IMF's projection of 4.2 per cent for last year.

The lower growth, according to market analysts, was mainly due to a fall in oil prices in the international market.

Although the Sultanate's oil production grew by 2.3 per cent to 336.16 million barrels in 2013 over the previous year, average price declined by 3.7 per cent from the previous year to $109.61 per barrel last year.
Industrial growth

"The industrial growth was also lower than the initial estimate," said Kanaga Sundar, Head of Research at the Gulf Baader Capital Markets.

"The only sector that was showing robust growth was the services sector. Retail sector and hospitality industry are all growing in line with the consumer spending."

Echoing a similar view, Joice Mathew, head of research at the United Securities, said that the contribution of the petroleum sector came down despite a growth in the production of oil last year.



WB projects 4.9% real GDP growth

"The contribution from non-petroleum activities is expected to go up this year at a faster pace than petroleum sector. The growth in manufacturing and tourism sectors will be the key drivers for the increased contribution," added Mathew.

However, the country's GDP at producers' price recorded a growth of 3.4 per cent at OMR31,837.1 million last year from OMR30,799.1 million in 2012, according to statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

The World Bank recently projected Oman's real GDP growth at 4.9 per cent in 2014 and five per cent in 2015. "We are estimating a real growth of four per cent this year. Oil activities are more stable now," Sundar added.

Financial intermediation services indirectly measured (FISIM) grew by six per cent to OMR612.6 million by the end of 2013, from OMR578.1 million in the previous year. In addition, taxes less subsidies on products grew to OMR1,209.4 million from OMR1,001.4 million by the end of 2012, registering a growth of 20.8 per cent.

According to NCSI, a one per cent fall in total petroleum activities was also witnessed at OMR15,220.1 million by the end of 2013, from OMR15,369.1 million figure of the previous year. The decline is attributed to a drop in the total value of crude oil production of 1.4 per cent, totalling OMR14,053.0 million, against OMR14,250.1 million during the period. However, the total value of natural gas production rose by 4.3 per cent at the end of 2013, recording OMR1,167.1 million against OMR1,119.0 million at the end of 2012.

The NCSI data also showed that total non-petroleum activities grew by 7.6 per cent in 2013, reaching OMR17,229.6 million, from OMR16,008.1 million the previous year. Non-petroleum activities include agriculture and fishing which grew by 8.6 per cent, recording OMR388.1 million at the end of 2013, from OMR357.3 million recorded by end-2012.

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