Brunei Economic Bulletin Q2 2008

The Brunei Economic Planning and Development Department or to use its Malay acronym JPKE (Jabatan Perancangan dan Kemajuan Ekonomi)recently released our country's economic performance for the second quarter of 2008. Quarter 1 report was printed in September 2008.

What's the highlight for Quarter 2?

Well, our economic growth fell by 2.8% year on year following a 4.9% contraction in Q1. Net export contracted sharply despite increases in investment. In economics, the term recession generally describes the reduction of a country's gross domestic product (GDP) for at least two quarters. Q3 report would be something to wait for whether this contraction has been reversed.

Our monetary aggregates expanded in a slower pace in Q2 2008 compared to Q1. Fixed deposits increased. Loan growth slowed down to 7.3% compared to 29.5% in Q1.

Our fiscal balance showed a healthy revenue of B$2.7 billion all mostly due to record high oil and gas prices in Q2. Though capital expenditure contracted by around 26%. Q2 was the beginning of the 2008/2009 financial year.

Consumer price index showed an inflation rate of 2.3% year on year. The main drivers of inflation were food and non-alcoholic beverages, miscellaneous goods and services, and transport.

External trade is healthy which is mostly oil and gas. It shows a trade surplus of B$2.9 billion. Brunei's top export destinations were Japan, Indonesia and South Korea, all three representing 75% of total exports.

Oil and gas production declined. Oil production is 159,811 barrels per day in Q2. The average production of LNG also declined by 6%.

You can read all this yourself by getting a copy from JPKE at Jalan Ong Sum Ping. This morning I checked at JPKE's website, the Q1 report is available as a digital copy but Q2's report is still not yet online. I know one very senior JPKE official would be reading my entry this morning and my request - *please sir, make Q2 report available online*.

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