Bandar Seri Begawan: ECONOMY – Brunei to post positive growth in 2018: ADB

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017. – ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK


BRUNEI Darussalam is expected to record positive growth next year, according to Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Asian Development Outlook (ADO) update released recently.

This year, the Sultanate will register slightly lower growth as forecasts are revised down by one percentage point, the report said.

Brunei Darussalam expects current account surplus this year, and in 2018, the country is likely to record higher current account surplus, it added.

The Sultanate has not yet fully adjusted to subdued global demand for oil and gas although the value of oil and gas exports increased in the first five months of 2017, the report further noted.

“A monetary policy linking the Brunei dollar to Singapore dollar has helped Brunei Darussalam to maintain monetary stability in the face of adverse external conditions in recent years,” the ADB said.

“The government budget continued to be under pressure in the first half of the year, as a persistent slump in the global oil and gas market caused revenues to weaken further.”

The fiscal deficit for the year may thus turn out to be somewhat higher than the ADO 2017 forecast, which projected a narrowing from the 2016 deficit that equalled an estimated 20 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

According to the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE), in 2016, the annual GDP value stood at $15.7 billion at current prices, compared to $17.8 billion in 2015. Measured at constant prices, GDP recorded a decline of 2.5 per cent in 2016.

In the second quarter of 2017 (Q2 2017), Brunei’s GDP recorded a positive growth of 0.7 per cent year-on-year at constant prices. GDP at current prices was estimated at B$4.3 billion in Q2 2017, compared to B$4.1 billion in Q1 2017.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected Brunei’s GDP growth to contract to -1.3 per cent this year but rise to 0.7 per cent next year, according to its Asia-Pacific Regional Economic Outlook report released in May 2017.

Meanwhile, Brunei’s economy is expected to see a modest recovery in 2018 with a small positive growth led by improvement in oil and gas production and expansion in investment as infrastructure and foreign direct investment (FDI) construction projects are progressing, according to the preliminary assessment by the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) after its annual consultation visit to the country from October 30 to November 3, 2017.

Borneo Bulletin |  December 9, 2017|   Azlan Othman     |

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