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Oman’s budget deficit remains flat as revenues decline in 2019

14 Mar 2020

Oman’s budget deficit for the full year 2019 remained flat at previous year’s level as the country’s public finances recorded nearly 5 per cent drop in revenues and a 4 per cent decrease in expenditure.

Budget deficit for the year ended December 31, 2019 reached RO2.653bn against a deficit of RO2.649bn recorded in 2018, according to the latest data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

Oman government’s total revenues declined by 4.9 per cent to RO10.410bn till end of December 2019 compared to RO10.949bn in the same period of the previous year due to the fall in oil prices.

Net oil revenues dropped by 5.7 per cent to RO6.162bn till the end of December 2019 compared to RO6.536bn recorded for the same period of the previous year. Oman’s revenues from natural gas fell 12.7 per cent to RO1.773bn in 2019 from more than RO2bn in the previous year, the NCSI data showed.

Income from corporate income tax grew more than 33 per cent to RO617.9mn in 2019 compared to RO463.1mn in the previous year. However, customs duties contributed RO213.1mn to total revenues, a decline of 23.2 per cent from 2018 figures.

The government’s capital revenues stood at RO69.7mn in 2019, falling 47.8 per cent over the same period of 2018. Other revenues increased by 4.3 per cent to RO1.573bn last year from RO1.508bn in 2018.

On spending side, total public expenditure decreased 3.9 per cent to RO13.063bn in 2019 compared to RO13.599bn total public spending in 2018. Of the total spending, current expenditure fell 13.6 per cent to RO8.441bn while investment expenditure dropped 19.1 per cent to RO2.337bn in December 2019.

The expenditure in participation and support category, which also includes government subsidies, fell by 13.8 per cent to RO808.1mn at the end of December 2019 from RO937.9mn in 2018.

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