Oman has announced an austerity budget for 2017 slashing its fiscal deficit by 44% in real terms to OR3bn ($7.8bn at OR1=$2.60) from a forecast of actual OR5.29bn deficit in 2016.

The Oman Ministry of Finance said in a statement on the 2017 budget issued by Royal Decree on 1 January that state finances were severely affected by the decline in oil prices since mid-2014. It noted that the 2016 budget lost more than 67% of its oil and gas revenues despite achieving record high production, compared to the oil revenues earned in 2014. The statement added that 2016 witnessed the lowest traded price of Oman oil which plunged to $24/B in January, but that the government was able to finance its spending and had taken some measures “to minimize the impact of low oil prices on fiscal and economic performance.” (CONTINUED - 1239 WORDS)