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Oman’s GDP up 23.3%

Middle East : 01 March 2012

Source: Arabian Business

Oman’s GDP increased 23.3 percent to OMR20bn ($51.9bn) during the first three quarters of 2011 as the cost of oil increased and the Gulf state raised its crude oil output, according to official data.

Oil activity in the non-OPEC producer state increased 34.9 percent for the nine period ending September while average daily production rose to 883,200 barrels from 860,200 barrels for the same period the previous year, Oman’s state news agency said.

Non-oil related activities, both service and production, recorded a 13.1 percent growth to OMR10.1bn. Industrial services rose 18 percent, services by 11.5 percent and agriculture and fisheries activities by four percent during the period.

Oman, whose debt to GDP is forecast by the IMF to be the lowest in the GCC at 3.2 percent this year, said last month it would raise its state expenditure this year if it needed.

“If there is any need arising during the year, then of course we will [spend more],” Finance Minister Darwish al-Balushi told Reuters. “As far as a sovereign bond is concerned, we do not have any plan for tapping the market, whether it is Islamic or conventional,” he added.

The Gulf state, which saw hundreds of Omanis take to the streets to demand more jobs and better pay amid the Arab Spring protests last year, said it planned to boost its budget spending by 26 percent to OMR54bn in its five-year plan in a bid to create jobs and improving living conditions.

Oman’s ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said promised $2.6bn in additional spending in April and announced plans to create 50,000 new jobs to defuse social tensions.

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