Brunei Economic Forecast

Brunei Economic Outlook

August 24, 2021

Recent data showed that the economy continued to shrink in annual terms in Q1 as GDP fell 1.4%, matching the previous quarter’s decline. On the production side, a contraction in the oil and gas sector drove the downturn, with oil and gas mining dropping in the quarter, while liquified natural gas manufacturing fell by over 10%. That said, the non-oil and gas sector continued to expand, supported by a notable increase in activity in the primary sector and a rebound in the services sector. On the expenditure side, considerable declines in government spending, fixed investment and exports led the drop, while private spending bucked the trend. Turning to Q2, data on goods exports for April hints at an improving external sector at the beginning of the period amid higher mineral fuel sales. However, a tightening of Covid-19-related restrictions in August could restrain activity somewhat in Q3.

Brunei Economic Growth

Growth is poised to strengthen this year, following the pandemic-induced slowdown in 2020. The gradual lifting of restrictions at home and abroad as vaccines are rolled out should buoy investment and foreign demand, while a supportive fiscal stance should further boost momentum. The spread of Covid-19 variants and sluggish vaccination campaigns cloud the outlook. The panel sees GDP expanding 2.8% in 2021, which is unchanged from the prior month’s projection, and 3.1% in 2022.

Brunei Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)31,38327,34628,21130,68930,135
GDP (USD bn)12.911.412.113.613.5
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)-0.6-
Unemployment Rate7.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-14.5-21.7-10.6-3.6-10.5
Public Debt (% of GDP)  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)-0.3-0.4-1.30.1-0.3
Policy Interest Rate (%)5.505.505.505.505.50
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1.531.531.561.591.53
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)1.541.521.601.561.51
Current Account (% of GDP)16.712.916.47.9-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)  
Trade Balance (USD billion)
Exports (USD billion)
Imports (USD billion)
Exports (annual variation in %)-44.9-21.413.820.110.2
Imports (annual variation in %)-12.3-17.315.535.722.4
International Reserves (USD)  
External Debt (% of GDP)-  -  -  -  -  

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Brunei Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate1.340.0 %Jan 01

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