Brunei GDP grows 2% in Q3 2019

Brunei's GDP in Q3 increased to $4.6 billion through increased production of crude oil and banking services

A customer being served at Brunei's biggest bank BIBD.

Brunei’s economy grew 2% to $4.6 billion (real GDP) from July to September (Q3) 2019 driven by increased production of crude oil and banking services.

Crude oil production increased from 105.5 thousand barrels per day in Q3 2018 to 113.3 thousand barrels per day in Q3 2019, although oil prices dropped by US$11.1 per barrel over the same period.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production decreased by 17,470 British thermal units per day (MMBtu) to 843,839 MMBtu per day from Q3 2018 to Q3 2019, while natural gas decreased by 0.4 million cubic metres to 31 million cubic metres per day.

The oil and gas industry collectively rose 1% to $2.61 billion, making up 54% of the economy, while financial services – specifically banking – saw the biggest gain, increasing by $45.1 million or 19% to $268.4 million, raising the non-oil and gas sector by 3.3% to $2.07 billion.

At constant prices, Brunei’s GDP from January to September is up $356million, reaching $13.9 billion which is a 2.55% increase from the same period last year.

Other notable increases were in forestry (13.7%), vegetables, fruits and other agriculture (12.6%), air transport (10.8%), health services (10.1%) and retail trade (9.5%). The largest relative declines were in apparel and textile manufacturing (-19.7%), fisheries (-16.9%) – due to a reduction in small scale capture – and land transport (-10.5%).

Brunei’s imports also decreased by 9.9% while exports only decreased by 0.9%, resulting in an improvement in the overall net exports of goods and services.

JPKE’s real GDP growth rates are based on constant prices, a total measure of the value produced by an economy over a given year that takes into account inflation or changes in price levels and purchasing power between years.

Current prices meanwhile reflect the market value of that an economy generates through goods and services within the year they are produced in. Their sum total is defined as nominal GDP.

Brunei’s GDP and current and constant prices. Although Q3 recorded a 2.2% growth according to constant prices, current prices recorded a decrease of $246.4 million. Courtesy of JPKE

Unadjusted for inflation, Brunei’s highest GDP in the past two decades was recorded in 2012 at US$19.048 billion, before dropping for four consecutive years to US$11.401 billion in 2016, largely due to a downturn in oil and gas prices.

As oil and gas prices began to recover, Brunei’s economy grew 1.3% to US$12.28 billion in 2017 and then to US$13.567 billion in 2018, according to data from the World Bank.