Surplus accounts for nearly 7% of GDP, almost double that of the previous year
The UAE current account surplus rose to AED97.1 billion ($26.4 billion) in 2017, accounting for 6.9 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The upsurge represented a doubling from AED48.5 billion, 3.7 percent of GDP, in 2016, on the back of rising oil prices and improving economic performance coupled with a trade balance surplus and a rise in investment income as well as a decline in trade deficit and a sharp fall in transfers during 2017, state news agency WAM reported.
The increase was also attributed to a jump of 25.1 percent in hydrocarbon exports, compared to 2016 as a direct result of the rise in the prices of crude oil and related by-products.
Non-hydrocarbon exports rose marginally by 0.3 percent, bringing total exports up by 4.6 percent of AED49.5 billion.
Total imports including costs of insurance, and shipping from major partner countries increased by AED11.5 billion, with trade balance surplus standing high at 20.7 percent of the GDP, WAM added.
In terms of services, the number of tourist arrivals increased by 8 percent, while tourist spending growth rate decreased. Net investment income increased with inflows valued at AED10.2 billion while public sector transfers fell slightly and private sector transfers abroad increased due to a rise in the expats' remittances which led to a net increase of AED7.7 billion in transfers compared to 2016.
The significant rise in current account surplus and decline in the trade balance deficit resulted in a balance of payment surplus of AED36.3 billion, comprising 2.6 percent of GDP.
Net foreign assets held by the UAE Central Bank increased during the same period by AED36.3 billion.