Brunei economy contracts 0.6% in 2015

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI’S economy contracted 0.6 per cent in 2015 on back of slowdown in the services sector, the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) said yesterday.

JPKE said GDP at constant prices continued to decline by 0.6 per cent after falling by 2.3 per cent in the previous year. This was due to a decrease of 1.6 per cent in the services sector.

For the fourth quarter alone, the sultanate’s economy fell by 17.3 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) owing to decreases recorded in the oil and gas sector.

The department said Brunei’s GDP at current prices fell to $4.3 billion from $5.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The oil and gas industry was valued at $2.3 billion, accounting for 53 per cent of total GDP while services made up 42 per cent.

The department said the 1.2 per cent decline in oil and gas mining weigh on the growth of the oil and gas sector.

“Despite an increase in the crude oil and gas production volumes, the other mining including support services to mining was the major reason of this fall,” JPKE said.

The non-oil and gas industrial sector decreased by 4.8 per cent due to declines in construction by 7.4 per cent and other manufacturing by 12.6 per cent.

The services sector declined by 0.4 per cent in Q4 2015 as the slowdown in banking activities pushed down the financial services sector by 12.3 per cent.

Government services fell by 2.1 per cent, which contributed to the decrease in the services sector, JPKE said.

The agriculture, forestry and fishery sector grew by 2.5 per cent thanks to a 15.5 per cent increase in fishery production.

At constant prices, GDP growth recorded a decline of 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter.

The decline was attributed to decreases in the non-oil and gas sector, services sector and the oil and gas industrial sector by 4.8 per cent, 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.

The department said GDP by expenditure approach posted a 4.2 per cent rise in household consumption, exports of goods and services rose by 1.2 per cent.

Gross capital formation declined by 21.3 per cent along with government spending which fell by 5.8 per cent and imports of goods and services by 21.5 per cent.

GDP is a measure of the total value of goods and services produced in a particular period following the deduction on the cost of goods and services used up in the process of production.

The full report on the GDP is available at JPKE’s website: www.depd.gov.bn.

The Brunei Times