Oman’s economy is likely to grow 5 percent this year, slower than the government had previously predicted, as oil prices will probably move lower than had been thought, an economy ministry official said on Monday.
The non-OPEC oil producer said in March that it expected its gross domestic product to jump 6.1 percent in 2010, helped by a recovery in oil prices, but the official said it is now taking a more conservative view.
“We predict GDP in real terms will grow 5 percent in 2010 because our oil production is expected to be higher this year,” the official, who did not want to be named, told Reuters.
But he said oil prices would probably not average as high as the country’s previous expectations for 2010 of around $75 per barrel.
Oman sold its crude at an average price of $77.57 a barrel in the first half. Benchmark U.S. crude moved around $75.70 a barrel on Monday.
The sultanate’s GDP rose 2.2 percent year-on-year in real terms in the first half of 2010, the official said, compared with 1.8 percent growth in the same period of 2009.
On Sunday, preliminary ministry data showed Oman’s nominal GDP grew 30.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, but it did not release figures in real terms.
Analysts polled by Reuters expected Oman’s economy to expand 4.0 percent in real terms this year on higher oil prices, rising crude output and government spending, following a 3.7 percent rise in 2009