Brunei GDP up by BND0.2 billion y-o-y

In the third quarter (Q3) of 2020, Brunei Darussalam’s gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices was estimated at BND4 billion compared to BND4.2 billion in Q3 2019. The oil and gas sector, comprising oil and gas mining and manufacture of liquefied natural gas (LNG), was valued at BND1.8 billion which accounted for 45.4 per cent of the total gross value added (GVA). Meanwhile, the non-oil and gas sector, which includes downstream activities such as the manufacture of petroleum and chemical products, contributed 54.6 per cent with a GVA of BND2.2 billion.

At constant prices, GDP recorded a positive GDP growth of 0.5 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q3 2020. The growth was contributed by an increase in the non-oil and gas sector by eight per cent. Meanwhile, the oil and gas sector recorded a decrease by 5.7 per cent.

The growth in the non-oil and gas sector was mainly due to the downstream activities following the new production of petroleum and chemical products, with a GVA of BND208.9 million at constant prices.

Meanwhile, the decline in the oil and gas sector was mainly due to a decrease in the production of crude oil from 113.3 thousand barrels per day in Q3 2019 to 100.5 thousand barrels per day in Q3 2020. Natural gas production also recorded a decrease from 31.0 million cubic metres per day in Q3 2019 to 30.6 million cubic metres per day in Q3 2020. In addition, LNG production declined from 843,994 million British thermal unit (MMBtu) per day to 833,565 MMBtu per day during the same period of time.

By kind of economic activity, the positive growth year-on-year in Q3 2020 was due to an increase in the industry sector by 0.7 per cent following the new production of petroleum and chemical products. Meanwhile, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors also increased by 15.6 per cent following an increase in the production of sub-sectors such as fishery and livestock and poultry. An increase in fisheries activities was mainly due to the aquaculture industry in line with the increase in the production of farm prawn. In addition, an increase in livestock and poultry activities was mainly associated with an increase in the production of egg and broiler.

However, the services sector declined by 0.3 per cent due to a decrease in sub-sectors such as government services, air transport and finance. The COVID-19 outbreak has adversely affected the air transport sub-sector, which declined by 92.1 per cent due to reduced travel operations. Meanwhile, a contraction in the finance sub-sector by 4.4 per cent attributed mainly by the decline in the banking services activities.

Although the overall services sector recorded a decrease, several sub-sectors under this sector showed improvements such as communication (23.8 per cent), water transport (22 per cent), wholesale and retail trade (4.6 per cent), health services (5.3 per cent) and real estate and ownership of dwellings (2.3 per cent). The growth in the wholesale and retail trade subsector was attributed to an increase in the domestic demand as travel restrictions remain effective.

By expenditure approach, GDP growth was mainly attributed to an increase in domestic demand, particularly household final consumption expenditure by 14.1 per cent and gross capital formation by 9.5 per cent particularly private investment. Meanwhile, external demand (exports of goods and services) also recorded an increase of 0.3 per cent.

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 report for the Q3 2020 is available from the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics’ website: www.deps.gov.bn.