Brunei Economic Forecast

Brunei Economic Outlook

December 13, 2019

In the second quarter, the economy grew at the fastest pace since current records began in 2013, propelled by a strong recovery in the oil and gas sector. Data for the third quarter, however, is limited and currently paints a mixed picture. The external sector’s contribution to growth seemed to strengthen in the quarter: The merchandise trade surplus widened in July–August compared to the second quarter, even as merchandise exports fell notably in August on lower outbound shipments of oil and natural gas. Meanwhile, turning to the fourth quarter, the oil sector should benefit from the coming online of the new Hengyi Petrochemical refinery in early November. Moreover, OPEC+ production cuts could boost demand for Bruneian oil, as the country is not a member of the organization.

Brunei Economic Growth

Economic growth is projected to accelerate next year. Stronger public and private expenditure will ensure domestic demand remains resilient, while the new petrochemical refinery should boost the oil sector, which will likely see merchandise exports gaining traction in turn. Volatile energy prices, however, remain a key downside risk to the economic outlook. The panel expects GDP to expand 2.4% in 2020, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.8% in 2021.

Brunei Economy Data

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)44,89741,90531,38327,34628,276
GDP (USD bn)
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)-2.1-2.3-0.6-2.51.3
Unemployment Rate7.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)13.03.6-14.5-21.7-10.6
Public Debt (% of GDP)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)0.4-0.2-0.4-0.7-0.2
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)20.930.716.712.916.4
Current Account Balance (USD bn)
Trade Balance (USD billion)
Exports (USD billion)11.811.
Imports (USD billion)
Exports (annual variation in %)-8.1-6.1-44.9-21.413.8
Imports (annual variation in %)19.3-25.3-12.3-17.315.5
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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