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Thu 18 Apr 2019 02:10 PM

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UAE's GDP forecast to grow to $460bn in 2019

International Monetary Fund says growth reflects economic diversification efforts made by the country

UAE's GDP forecast to grow to $460bn in 2019
The IMF said Dubai Expo 2020 is expected to result in high tourist influxes, adding that the UAE economy has survived the slowdown witnessed in 2015-2016.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast the UAE’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 4.7 percent to AED1.673 trillion ($460 billion) in 2019, compared to AED1.589 trillion a year ago.

The GDP growth is reflective of the economic diversification efforts made by the country, according to the Washington-based fund which was cited by state news agency WAM.

The IMF also highlighted domestic investment and private sector-provided credit as well as the ongoing momentum in trade relations with major trade partners.

It said Dubai Expo 2020 is expected to result in high tourist influxes, adding that the UAE economy has survived the slowdown witnessed in 2015-2016.

Growth will also be driven as well by the improvement in average oil prices from $71.9 in 2018 to $72.3 in 2019, according the IMF statistics which expected a rise in the country's crude output to 3.1 million barrels per day from 3 million in 2018.

WAM said the IMF's positive forecasts are based on the three-year stimulus packages initiated by the Federal Government starting this year, with inflation rates kept as low as 1.9 percent in 2019 despite the introduction of VAT last year, in addition to the 8 percent increase in the current account surplus in 2019 against 6.9 percent in 2018.

On Wednesday, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) said the GCC is expected to post economic growth of 2.3 percent in 2019, a marginal improvement on the previous year of 0.3 percent.

It said the GCC economy will be weighed down by renewed OPEC-plus oil production cuts and lower oil prices, with the main source of growth coming from the non-oil sector this year.