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Robust growth signals

 Staff Reporter

MUSCAT

It has been an astounding 12.9 per cent growth in the Sultanate’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2017. The GDP at market price grew to 6.44 billion rials from 5.7 billion during the same period last year, according to National Centre for Statistics and Information data.

This growth after nearly two years has been fuelled by the rise in oil price and increase of oil activities.

Oil-based activities grew by 30.6 per cent to 2.23 billion rials from as low as 1.55 billion rials during the first quarter of 2016.

The contribution of crude oil was at 1.71 billion rials, a 37.9 per cent rise over the same period last year.

Natural gas activities rose by 1.6 per cent to 315.9 million rials.

Non-oil GDP went up by 5.3 per cent to total 4.61 billion rials from 4.38 billion rials in 2016. Here the role of service sector was vital, contributing 3.23 billion rials and  registering a growth of 6.3 per cent from 3.04 billion rials. Wholesale and retail trade amounted to 535.9 million rials, with transport and communications contributing 386.2 million rials, business 317 million rials and administration and defence 738 million rials.

Industrial activities were also up with their share in the GDP going up by 3.4 per cent to reach 1.26 billion rials from 1.22 billion rials. Manufacturing contributed 601.7 million rials, construction 515.4  million rials, basic chemicals production 261.1 million rials, electricity and water supply 108.3 million rials and mining and quarrying 36.8 million rials.

Incidentally, the contribution of agriculture and fisheries fell by 2.5 per cent to 114.9 million rials.

Public finance as at the end of June was also robust with total revenue going up by 28.9 per cent to 4.01 billion rials, from 3.11 billion for the first six months of 2016. Net oil revenue went up by 46 per cent to 2.17 billion rials and that from gas by 12.5 per cent to 682.7 million rials.

While custom duties and corporate income tax revenues fell, revenue from other sourses went up by 40.5 per cent to 748.2 million rials.

Public expenditure during the first six months was marginally to 5.64 billion rials from 5.61 billion rials.

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