Sultanate maintains high-income economy status

Azlan Othman

Brunei Darussalam maintained its high income economy status (USD12,536 or more) according to the World Bank’s latest country classifications by income published on July 1.

The classifications have put the sultanate with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of USD32,230, which is second highest in Southeast Asia after Singapore (with USD59,590).

The GNI per capita is the country’s annual income divided by population. The classifications are updated annually on July 1.

GNI includes the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and earnings received from overseas sources like remittance.

The World Bank assigns the world’s economies to four income groups – low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high-income countries. In each country, factors such as economic growth, inflation, exchange rates, and population growth influence GNI per capita.

According to the World Bank, countries with a GNI per capita of USD12,536 are considered high income, while upper-middle-income status countries have a GNI per capita of USD4,046 to USD12,535.

Revisions to national accounts methods and data can also influence GNI per capita.

To keep the income classification thresholds fixed in real terms, they are adjusted annually for inflation. The Special Drawing Rights (SDR) deflator is used which is a weighted average of the GDP deflators of China, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Euro Area. This year, the thresholds have moved up in line with this inflation measure.