Inflationary conditions remained benign and headline inflation stood at 0.2 per cent in February 2019, as compared to 0.8 per cent a year ago. The Omani oil price averaged $61.8 per barrel in February 2019 in comparison with $61.2 per barrel during February 2018. The recovery in oil prices and reform measures implemented over the last two years helped in further reducing fiscal deficit in 2018, the apex bank stated.
“The 2019 budget also adopted a balanced approach and projected a fiscal deficit at RO 2.8 billion in 2019, somewhat lower as compared to RO 3.0 billion provided in 2018 budget,” the Central Bank noted in its monthly review.
According to the report, published here yesterday, the banking sector in Oman continued to support growth in economic activities by providing credit and other banking services to all segments. Non-oil sectors have remained the main driver of banking business and accordingly, banks are nurturing growth in non-oil economic activities with special emphasis towards the SME segment.
“An analysis of the combined balance sheet of conventional and Islamic banks (other depository corporations) provides the progress of financial intermediation undertaken by banks in Oman. The total outstanding credit extended by other depository corporations (ODCs) stood at RO 25.3 billion as at the end of February 2019, witnessing a growth of 6.2 per cent over the level a year ago,” the apex bank said.
Credit to the private sector increased by 4.7 per cent to RO 22.3 billion as at the end of February 2019, the report said. Of the total credit to the private sector, the share of non-financial corporate sector stood at 46.2 per cent, the household sector (mainly under personal loans) at 45.2 per cent, while that of financial corporations and other sectors stood at 5.3 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively.
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