Brunei’s economy is forecast to grow by 2.6 percent in 2023, after contracting by an estimated 2.3 percent in 2022. Growth in 2023 is expected to be broad-based, reflecting the normalization of economic activity following the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions. Despite the growth rebound, the level of output in 2023 remains lower than in 2019.
Inflation is projected to moderate to 2.5 percent in 2023, but is still historically high. The fiscal balance is forecast to remain at a surplus of 0.5 percent of GDP in 2023, following a substantial improvement in 2022, owing to higher oil and gas revenue.
However, the baseline projections are subject to considerable uncertainty and could, again, be derailed by a materialisation of several risks. These include persistent inflation and further monetary policy tightening, oil market uncertainty, and protracted domestic oil and gas supply disruptions.
Policy priorities should focus on enhancing fiscal space, strengthening resilience including increasing investment in the public health system and intensifying digital transformation, and advancing structural reforms such as building a more resilient education system, improving the business environment, strengthening public service delivery, and taking measures to minimise risks from climate change.