Oman’s real GDP growth was 5.5 per cent in 2013 and will remain at this level in 2014, according to an IMF statement released earlier in May following an IMF mission to the sultanate.
“Fiscal and external sectors are estimated to have posted surpluses in 2013 at over 5.5 per cent and around 10 percent of GDP (in 2014),” the statement said. “Fiscal and external surpluses are expected as well in 2014, though of lower magnitude.”
“The public investment program is expected to help maintain nonhydrocarbon growth around 5.0 per cent over the medium term,” the statement said. “The banking system remains profitable and stable, with an average return on assets of 1.6 per cent, return of equity of 11 per cent, capital adequacy ratio of 16.2 per cent, and gross non-performing loans of 2.1 per cent as of December 2013.”
Bahrain is the only GCC state that reported a budget deficit in 2013. Oman’s surplus is forecast to fall to zero in the next couple of years. The GCC’s aggregate surplus is expected to disappear by 2019.