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Sun 14 Nov 2010 12:19 PM

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UAE imports rise in August, hinting at demand pick-up

Recovery in domestic demand weaker than other GCC states due to 'structural constraints'

UAE imports rise in August, hinting at demand pick-up
IMPORTS RISE: UAE imports increased in August, pointing to stronger domestic demand

Imports to the UAE increased in August, pointing to stronger domestic demand, while non-oil export growth increased to key markets such as India, data showed on Sunday.

The OPEC member's imports rose 9.8 percent year-on-year to AED40.9bn ($11bn) in August, a sharp rise after a 0.9 percent slump in the previous month, preliminary data from the UAE Federal Customs Authority (FCA) showed.

Exports without crude soared 91.7 percent to $2.4bn, after a 23.7 percent increase in July, while growth in re exports accelerated to 21.5 percent.

Monica Malik, chief economist, EFG Hermes, Dubai, said: "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."

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 Sept, analysts raised their forecasts for UAE economic growth this year to 2.4 percent after state owned Dubai World sealed a $24.9bn 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 $16bn last year with exports and imports down 15.8 percent and 11.9 percent respectively from 2008 as the global crisis hit the second largest Arab economy. The country expects the trade surplus for 2010 to be 15 percent higher.