Imports to the UAE increased in August, suggesting stronger domestic demand, while non-oil export growth increased to key markets such as India, new data has shown.
Preliminary data from the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) showed imports rose 9.8 per cent year-on-year to Dh40.9 billion in August, a sharp rise after a 0.9 per cent slump in the previous month.
Exports without crude soared 91.7 per cent to Dh9.1bn after a 23.7 per cent increase in July, while growth in re-exports accelerated to 21.5 per cent.
"Demand is picking up very gradually. The UAE have structural constraints which mean that the recovery in domestic demand will be weaker than in other GCC countries," said Monica Malik, chief economist at EFG Hermes in Dubai.
India, China and the United States topped the list of exporting countries to the UAE, while in the field of non-oil exports, Norway, India and Switzerland were the main importing countries from the UAE. India, Iran and Iraq ranked as the highest re-exporting countries.
In a Reuters poll in September, analysts raised their forecasts for UAE economic growth this year to 2.4 per cent after state-owned Dubai World sealed a $24.9 billion deal, easing concerns about Dubai's debt woes.
The Customs Authority did not release figures for oil exports.
The UAE booked a trade surplus of $16 billion last year with exports and imports down 15.8 per cent and 11.9 per cent respectively from 2008 as the global crisis hit the second-largest Arab economy. The country expects the trade surplus for 2010 to be 15 per cent higher.