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Oman’s Q1 budget surplus at $1.2bn on higher oil revenue

Road, Cliff, Nature Creative Commons
Spending increased by four percent to OMR2.77 billion in Q1 2023

Oman reported a budget surplus of OMR450 million ($1.17 billion) in the first quarter of 2023, driven by a nine percent rise in net oil revenue amid higher oil prices and increased production.

Net oil revenue reached OMR1.71 billion in Q1 2023, based on an average price of $85 per barrel, from OMR1.57 billion in the same period a year ago, helping lift total revenue by six percent to OMR3.22 billion.

Spending increased by four percent to OMR2.77 billion, the latest fiscal performance report by the finance ministry showed.

Last month, the finance ministry repaid OMR1.1 billion in loans, bringing total public debt to OMR16.6 billion at the end of March.

Total debt stood at OMR17.7 billion at the end of 2022.

In April, Oman agreed to a voluntary oil output cut of 40,000 barrels per day from May until the end of 2023, along with other Opec+ member states, pushing oil prices higher.

The Gulf nation launched a medium-term fiscal plan in 2020 to reduce public debt, diversify sources of revenue and spur economic growth.

Ratings agency S&P revised Oman’s outlook to positive, from stable, earlier this month, saying the government was repairing its balance sheet and had reduced gross debt to 40 percent of GDP in 2022, from around 60 percent in 2021.

It expects GDP growth to average 2.5 percent per year between 2023-2026. 

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