Brunei Economic Forecast

Brunei Economic Outlook

November 17, 2020

Economic growth gathered pace in Q2, despite the constraining effects of the pandemic. A sizable acceleration in household spending, a much softer contraction in government consumption, and resilient export growth more than offset a sharper downturn in investment activity. Soaring output at the Hengyi Industries’ oil refinery and petrochemical plant also supported growth in Q2. However, activity likely lost some steam in Q3. Merchandise exports contracted in annual terms in July, mainly on the back of plunging foreign sales of crude oil and LNG. That said, imports surged in the same month, pointing to resilient domestic demand, and the positive health situation bodes well for activity ahead. On the political front, the ministry of finance is reportedly preparing an economic blueprint focused on strengthening the private sector, which should improve the business climate in coming years.

Brunei Economic Growth

Following a slowdown in 2020, growth is expected to gain steam next year. A rebound in investment activity, an expansionary fiscal stance and stronger household spending should support domestic demand, while the reopening of the global economy will support the external sector. That said, the unpredictable evolution of the pandemic clouds the outlook. The panel sees GDP expanding 2.7% in 2021, which is down 0.4 percentage points from the prior month’s projection, and 3.2% in 2022.

Brunei Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)0.40.40.40.40.4
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 %)-0.6-2.51.30.13.9
Unemployment Rate7.88.69.39.29.2
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-14.5-21.7-10.6-3.6-10.5
Public Debt (% of GDP)3.03.02.82.6-  
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)2.21.52.01.1-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)2.92.22.42.42.1
Exports (USD billion)6.14.85.56.67.2
Imports (USD billion)3.22.73.14.25.1
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)3.23.33.33.2-  
External Debt (% of GDP)-  -  -  -  -  

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Brunei Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate1.340.0 %Jan 01

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