Muscat – Benefiting from higher oil revenues and strong economic growth this year, Oman recorded a further RO163mn increase in its budget surplus in May.
The sultanate’s total budget surplus increased to RO631mn for the January–May period of 2022 against a deficit of RO890mn in the same period of 2021, data released by the Ministry of Finance showed.
The ministry said that the surplus will be utilised for strengthening economic recovery by increasing spending on priority development projects and reducing public debt.
Total public income rose by 49.9 per cent to RO5.325bn in the first five months of 2022 compared with RO3.551bn in the same period a year ago.
The rise in public income was mainly due to higher oil price and production and increased current revenue during this year, the Ministry of Finance said in its monthly Fiscal Performance Bulletin.
As per the ministry’s data, net oil revenues rose nearly 38 per cent to RO2.568bn in the first five months of 2022, while gas revenues jumped 140.8 per cent to RO1.356bn during the same period.
Oman crude was sold at an average price of US$82 per barrel in the first five months this year compared to US$47 in the same period of 2021. Daily average oil production was 8.6 per cent higher at 1.034mn barrels per day in 2022 against 952,000 in 2021.
Spending up 5.7%
The sultanate’s total public spending reached RO4.694bn during the January–May period of this year, an increase of 5.7 per cent over the same period in 2021.
Of the total public spending, current expenditure of the ministries and government units increased 11.8 per cent to RO3.685bn compared to the same period of 2021, the Ministry of Finance noted.
Development spending sharply increased by 67.3 per cent to RO343mn in the first five months of 2022 against the same period a year ago.
The Ministry of Finance noted that total contributions and other expenses during January – May period of 2022 came at RO516mn, a sharp increase of 85.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.
‘Such increase is reflected by the increase in hydrocarbon products subsidy to RO219mn and basic food subsidy to RO11mn, in addition to other subsidies,’ the ministry added.