Oman's nominal GDP, which is measured at current market prices, grew 16.2 per cent in the first half of this year to RO15.2bn against RO13.08bn in the same period of 2011, according to the statistics released by the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) on Tuesday.
The sultanate's budget surplus swelled to RO2.9bn in the first nine months of this year compared to RO906mn in the same period last year, statistics also showed.
Buoyed by higher oil prices and increased activity in the oil and gas sector, the sultanate's oil-based GDP rose 19.9 per cent to RO7.86bn in the first half compared to RO6.56bn in the same period last year, while total non-oil output expanded 12.6 per cent to RO8.18bn.
A senior official at the Ministry of Finance said that in 2012 Oman sold its crude oil at an average price of US$109 per barrel. “The budget surplus and GDP growth were mainly supported by higher oil prices and better production compared to last year,” the official added.
Oman sold its crude oil at an average price of US$102.95 per barrel in 2011.
Oman's net oil revenue rose 27 per cent to RO8.11bn in the nine months, while gas revenue jumped 52 per cent to RO1.22bn.
Dr Fabio Scacciavillani, chief economist at Oman Investment Fund (OIF), said that nominal GDP growth was backed by higher oil prices, but Oman's real economic growth is driven equally by oil and non-oil sectors.
He said, “Since the start of the global financial crisis Oman has maintained a steady course on economic policies which has been paid off. Despite all the problems in the world economy, Oman has been rather resilient and immune from the contagion effect of the crisis.”
“GDP growth and good fiscal performance are signs of a very prudent and competent fiscal policy which has been combined with infrastructure investment to spur growth and encourage employment.”
“I do not see any reason for the fiscal situation to deteriorate. Oman is on a steady course that would probably continue into 2013 with some possibility of further improvement in GDP and fiscal performance,” Dr Scacciavillani added.