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UAE on a positive growth trajectory as real GDP grew 0.8% in 2017

Non-oil GDP grew 2.5% last year with a strong outlook for this year

Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.8 per cent in 2017, according to preliminary estimates by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA).

“Preliminary estimates issued by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority indicate growth in the economic performance of the UAE in general; which came as a result of growth in oil resources and rise in international oil prices and growth in non-oil sectors,” Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the UAE’s success in economic diversification, expansion of the economic production base, and the importance of strategic initiatives and programmes aimed at increasing reliance on non-oil sectors contributed to the GDP growth.

Earlier this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had revised its 2017 GDP estimates for the UAE to 0.5 per cent from a projected 1.3 per cent in October last year. The downward revision was largely driven by negative growth of 2.5 per cent in the oil GDP.

According to IMF estimates, the UAE economy is expected to grow at 3 per cent next year. For 2018, meanwhile, the UAE’s growth has been projected at 2 per cent compared to the projections of 3.4 per cent made in last October. For 2018, oil GDP growth is projected remain flat at 2.4 per cent. Non-oil GDP for the country grew at 1.9 per cent last year and is projected to grow at 2.8 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively in 2018 and 2019.

The data from FCSA show that GDP estimates for 2017 at real prices (base year 2010) amounted to approximately Dh1,422.2 billion in the UAE, compared to about Dh1,411.1 billion in 2016. According to preliminary estimates non-oil GDP grew at the rate of 2.5 per cent last year.

In terms of contribution of economic sectors to the current GDP, data showed that activities related to the extraction of crude oil and natural gas contributed to about 22.3 per cent. In the non-oil sectors, wholesale and retail trade activities contributed to 12.3 per cent, manufacturing activities about 4.8 per cent and construction 8.7 per cent.

Financial services accounted for 9.6 per cent of the nation’s GDP last year. Public administration, defence and social security sector also showed an increasing contribution to the GDP, reaching about 7 per cent.

Non-oil activities reported strong growth last year. Electricity, gas, water and waste management activities achieved the highest annual growth rate of 9.4 per cent followed by health and social services activities by 6.3 per cent. Administrative services and support services grew by 5.5 per cent, while manufacturing activity grew by 4.8 per cent. Arts, entertainment, promotion and other services activities grew by 3.8 per cent, education activity grew by 2.9 per cent while growth rate in the transport and storage sector reached 2.5 per cent last year. Data showed the highest growth rate was recorded in accommodation and food services activity by 8.5 per cent.

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