x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Sunny forecast for UAE economy

A rosy economic outlook has prompted Emirates NBD, the country’s biggest bank, to raise its GDP forecast.

Higher oil production and hikes in public spending is helping underpin strong growth prospects as the economy enters the second half of the year.

Greater visitor flows to hotels and shops have also fuelled the economic pick-up as the country benefits from unrest elsewhere in the Middle East.The rosier outlook has prompted Emirates NBD, the country’s biggest bank, to raise its GDP forecast.

It expects the economy to expand by 4.6 per cent, rather than the earlier forecast of 4 per cent.

“Increased oil output this year will be reflected in stronger overall economic growth,” said Khatija Haque, GCC economist at Emirates NBD.“Oil production had been expected to be around 3 per cent higher for the year but it is already 6.2 per cent.”

The UAE economy has proven a safe haven from instability which has left other Middle East nations facing dwindling foreign reserves or falling tourist numbers.
Activity has risen particularly strongly in the UAE’s oil and services sectors.

Like most other Gulf states, the UAE has lifted oil production since March to offset a decline in supply from Libya.