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Brunei’s economy declines in Q1 2019

IN THE first quarter of 2019, Brunei Darussalam’s gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices was valued at BND4.5 billion compared to BND4.4 billion in Q1 2018. The oil and gas sector was valued at BND2.7 billion accounting for 57.7 per cent of the total gross value added (GVA).

This was stated in a media release by the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE).

At constant prices, GDP recorded a negative growth of 0.5 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2019. The decline was mainly associated with the decrease in the oil and gas sector by 2.5 per cent. On the other hand, the non-oil and gas sector increased by 2.5 per cent.

The decline in the oil and gas sector was mainly due to the contraction in both the productions of natural gas from 37.7 million cubic metres per day in Q1 2018 to 35.5 million cubic metres per day in Q1 2019 and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from 1,076,866 MMBtu per day in Q1 2018 to 1,028,683 MMBtu per day in Q1 2019.

The growth in the non-oil and gas sector was due to increases in the wholesale and retail trade (11.2 per cent), finance subsector (7.6 per cent), and real estate and ownership of dwellings subsector (2.3 per cent).

By kind of economic activity, the negative performance of the economy in the first quarter was due to the decrease in the industry sector by 2.3 per cent. This was mainly due to the contraction in both the productions of natural gas and LNG; and a decline in the construction subsector.

The agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors also recorded a decrease of 3.3 per cent due to a fall in the output of the vegetables, fruits and other agriculture subsectors, livestock and poultry subsector and fishery subsector. A decline in the production of fruits was the main contributor to the decrease in the vegetables, fruits and other agriculture subsectors. On the positive side, the forestry subsector expanded by 98.8 per cent as a result of higher production of sawn timber.

However, the services sector increased by 2.8 per cent. This positive growth was due to increases in the wholesale and retail trade subsector, finance subsector and real estate and ownership of dwellings subsector.

By expenditure approach, GDP recorded a decrease mainly due to a decrease in the external demand (exports of goods and services) by 3.2 per cent. On the other hand, domestic demand registered positive growth, particularly in personal consumption expenditure, which grew by 4.9 per cent, after a 6.7 per cent growth in Q4 2018.

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

The GDP full report for the first quarter of 2019 is available from JPKE’s website at www.depd.gov.bn.

Source: https://borneobulletin.com.bn/bruneis-economy-declines-q1-2019/