Brunei Darussalam's economy has experienced four consecutive quarters of positive growth since the second quarter of 2017, growing 2.5 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018.

This growth was mainly driven by domestic demand, particularly in capital expenditure of the private sector, which continued to grow by 25.8 per cent, after recording 44.9 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2017. Similarly, external demand which includes exports of goods and services rose by 6.9 per cent. On the supply side, the year-on-year positive growth in the first quarter of 2018 was contributed by the Industrial Sector which recorded a further growth of 5 percent.

This performance was buoyed mainly by growth in the Manufacture of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Methanol Subsector of 12.2 per cent, attributed to LNG production increasing to 1 million 76 thousand 866 MMBtu (million British Thermal Unit) per day in the first quarter of 2018 from 952 thousand 238 MMBtu per day in the first quarter of 2017. The Construction Subsector grew by 24.4 per cent among others due to an increase in Development Expenditure; while the Oil and Gas Mining Subsector expanded by 1.7 per cent, in line with the increase in crude oil production from 125.3 thousand barrels per day in the first quarter of 2017 to 125.6 thousand barrels per day in the first quarter of 2018. In addition, natural gas production also rose by 5.4 per cent, increasing from 35.8 million cubic metres per day in the first quarter of 2017 to 37.7 million cubic metres per day in in the first quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, the Services Sector contracted by 1.3 per cent year-on-year. This decline was mainly due to decreases in both the Government Services Subsector and the Finance Subsector by 3.1 per cent and 5.9 per cent, respectively. However, the decline in the Services Sector was moderated by an increase in the Water Transport Subsector which registered a significant increase of 15.5 per cent, in line with the growth in LNG exports.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery Sector also recorded negative growth, declining by 9.4 per cent due to a fall in the output of the Vegetables, Fruits and Other Agriculture Subsector and the Fishery Subsector. A decline in the production of vegetables was the main contributor to the decrease in the Vegetables, Fruits and Other Agriculture Subsector. On the positive side, the Livestock and Poultry Subsector increased by 2.6 percent as a result of higher production of goats and broiler chicken.

Source: Radio Television Brunei