Brunei Economic Forecast

Brunei Economic Outlook

May 21, 2019

The economy likely performed fairly well in Q1. Average year-on-year merchandise export growth was solid in January and February, due to a surge in exports of mineral fuels. Moreover, crude oil production rose in January from December. This follows Q4’s rebound in economic activity, which was driven by robust growth within the non-oil and gas sector; the oil and gas sector, meanwhile, declined due to unplanned repair and maintenance work. In other news, in early-May Brunei rolled back controversial Islamic laws that sparked a global backlash. While the scandal is a blow to the country’s international reputation and, in the short-term, could take some shine off the tourism sector—which expanded briskly last year—the economic fallout will be minimal.

Brunei Economic Growth

This year, the economy is projected to accelerate noticeably thanks to a modest recovery in the energy sector, as refineries resume normal production, and amid healthy spending on infrastructure projects, such as a fertilizer plant and the Temburong Bridge. The economy, however, remains vulnerable to volatility in oil and gas prices. The panel expects GDP to expand 2.6% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.9% in 2020.

Brunei Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)44,67541,59931,00726,958-  
GDP (USD bn)  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)-2.1-2.3-0.6-2.5-  
Unemployment Rate7.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)13.03.6-14.5-21.5-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)0.4-0.2-0.4-0.7-0.1
Policy Interest Rate (%)5.505.505.505.505.50
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1.661.681.531.531.56
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)1.741.601.541.521.60
Current Account (% of GDP)20.930.716.09.6-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)  
Trade Balance (USD billion)  
Exports (USD billion)11.411.56.45.2-  
Imports (USD billion)  
Exports (annual variation in %)-12.0-8.2-39.5-17.8-  
Imports (annual variation in %)1.1-0.4-11.3-17.3-  
International Reserves (USD)  
External Debt (% of GDP)-  -  -  -  -  

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Brunei Facts

Exchange Rate1.370.0 %Jun 13

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