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Press Dossier    By Date   18/03/2024 Oman’s general inflation index holds steady at 105.3 in February

Arab News, Mon, Mar 18, 2024 | Ramadan 8, 1445

​​Oman’s general inflation index holds steady at 105.3 in February

Oman: Oman’s general inflation index remained stable at 105.3 in February compared to the same period in 2023, according to the latest official data. 

The data from the National Center of Statistics and Information also highlighted that the inflation rate had decreased to 0.0 percent in February compared to 1.8 percent recorded in the corresponding period last year. 

The center outlined that the lowest inflation rate, recorded in the Muscat Governorate, was at -0.3 percent, while the highest inflation rate, observed in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate, registered at 0.9 percent. 

However, the nation also witnessed a 1.1 percent jump in the price index of the food and non-alcoholic beverages group in February compared to the same month of the previous year. 

The price index of the milk, cheese, and eggs group also surged 4.2 percent compared to the same month of the previous year. 

Similarly, the oils and fats group recorded a 2 percent increase compared to the same month of the previous year. 

Conversely, the price index of the fish and seafood group declined 9.9 percent from the same period in 2023. 

The transport group also saw a 2.6 percent decrease compared to the same month of the previous year. 

Similarly, the vegetable group’s price index also decreased by 3.8 percent compared to the previous month. 

The indices for Oman are based on data collected from all governorates of the nation. 

The NCSI collected approximately 56,640 prices of goods and services from 3,907 selected sources, while rent data is collected from a sample of 1,150 rented units. 

Earlier in January, Oman forecasted a budget deficit of 640 million Omani rials ($1.66 billion) this year, around 1.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, swinging from a surplus in 2023 as lower oil production and prices weigh on public finances, according to Reuters. 

The 2024 budget is based on an average oil price of $60 per barrel, which is conservative by most estimates. 

Oman’s finance minister Sultan Salim Al-Habsi said at that time that the estimates in the budget were based on ensuring that “financing needs are met in the event of a decline in oil prices.” 

The Gulf state posted a surplus of 931 million rials in its preliminary 2023 estimates, compared to a deficit of around 1.3 billion rials it had forecast initially, the state news agency quoted its deputy finance minister as saying. 

Oil revenues are projected to reach 5.9 billion rials in 2024, the deputy finance minister said, lower than the 6.9 billion rials estimated in 2023. 

Its total revenues in 2024 are projected at around 11.01 billion rials, up 9.5 percent from 2023 estimates, with non-oil revenues forecast at 520 million rials. 

Estimated expenditures are forecast to increase by 2.6 percent to around 11.65 billion rials.

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