KHALEEJ TIMES, Thursday, Jan 10, 2019 | Jumada Al Awwal
UAE to be fastest growing GCC economy in 2019: IIF
The UAE will be the
fastest growing economy in the GCC region this year along with Oman, driven by
non-oil sector, Dh50 billion Abu Dhabi stimulus package and projects linked to
Expo 2020 Dubai, according to a new report released on Wednesday.
The Institute of International
Finance (IIF) analysts projected the UAE's real GDP to grow 3.1 per cent in 2019
compared to 2.9 per cent estimated for 2018. But growth is projected to slow
down to 2.7 per cent in 2020. Nominal GDP is estimated to increase from $434
billion (Dh1.592 trillion) in 2018 to $444 billion (Dh1.629 trillion) in 2019
and $458 billion (Dh1.681 trillion) in 2020.
Taimur Khan, Research Manager, Knight
Frank, said in an another UAE research that outlook for the UAE's GDP growth in
2018 and 2019 remains positive on the back of higher oil prices, a range of
stimulus packages and easing of business regulations in both Abu Dhabi and
Dubai, which are likely to support activity in both the public and private
International Monetary Fund had
predicted 3.7 per cent growth for the UAE for 2019 in its October forecast.
While World Bank on Tuesday predicted 2 per cent in 2018 which is expected to
accelerate to 3.0 per cent in 2019 and 3.2 per cent in 2020 and 2021.
According to IIF forecast, Oman's
real GDP growth is also projected at par with the UAE at 3.1 per cent for this
year and 3.4 per cent in 2020. While Saudi Arabia's real GDP is predicted to
grow 2 per cent in 2019, Kuwait at 0.4 per cent, Qatar at 2 per cent and Bahrain
at 2.4 per cent.
"Consumer inflation will ease in 2019
in Saudi Arabia and the UAE after the VAT related spike in 2018. Downward
pressure from the low rental prices will persist," IIF analysts said.
In 2018, higher oil prices enabled
temporary improvements in the external and fiscal positions of the GCC
"We see the aggregate current account
surplus declining from $153 billion in 2018 to $86 billion in 2019 due to lower
oil prices and export volumes. We also expect the aggregated fiscal deficit to
widen again from 1.4 per cent of GDP in 2018 to around 4.0 per cent in 2019 and
2020, and the public debt to rise to 45 per cent of GDP by 2020," said Garbis
Iradian, chief economist, Mena, IIF.