Oman's budget surplus surged to a record high of RO1.683 billion in the first half of 2012, on the back of surging oil and gas revenues.
Total government revenue shot up 35.4 per cent to RO7.369 billion, from RO5.443 billion for the same period last year, according to statistics released by the erstwhile Ministry of National Economy.
Net oil revenue, which accounts for almost 70 per cent of total revenue, for the six-month period rose 30 per cent to RO5.277 billion, while gas revenue shot up to RO837.2 million from RO503.2 million. Expenditure was RO5.763 billion, compared to RO3.943 billion during the same period in 2011.
For budget calculation, the government based its 2012 oil price at $75 per barrel and expected a deficit of RO1.2 billion. However, the average oil revenue crossed $100 a barrel. It appears that the government's windfall gains on the revenue side not only covers the additional current expenditure due to salary revision, but also generates surpluses for the year.
The country's current expenditure was up 47.2 per cent to RO3.439 billion, from RO2.336 billion for the same period of 2011. However, investment expenditure declined by 13.8 per cent to RO1.2 billion. The country's gross domestic product for the first quarter of 2012 rose 18.9 per cent to RO7.371 billion, from RO6.197 billion for the same period of 2011.