Oman’s economy got off to a positive start this year despite increasingly alarmist projections from ratings agencies and the IMF citing the country’s tepid fiscal outlook (MEES, 24 November 2017). Through the first five months of 2018, the country’s budget deficit has nearly halved to RO1.095bn ($2.84bn) from RO2.035bn ($5.28bn) over the same period last year. As long as oil prices remain buoyant, the improvements should continue.

As with the rest of the Gulf, Oman’s economy is dependent on hydrocarbons which account for around 75% of government revenues, a higher proportion than in Saudi Arabia (70%) but less than Qatar (80%) and Kuwait (90%). Oil price gains are therefore helping Muscat slowly ease out of its post-2014 oil price crash malaise. (CONTINUED - 801 WORDS)