Dubai: UAE’s real GDP growth continued to pick up momentum in the first three quarters of 2018 and is expected to keep up pace for the rest of the year while the employment growth in the country is expected to be modest according to the Quarterly Economic Review of the Central Bank of UAE for the third quarter of 2018.

Thanks to the increase in oil output and higher oil prices this year, the central bank report said the UAE’s real growth showed an increase of 3.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 year on year compared to a moderate 2.1 per cent increase in the previous quarter. Real oil GDP increased by 2.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to a decline of 0.6 per in the second quarter of 2018.

The non-oil sector was the key driver of real GDP growth this year with growth rates of 3.3 per cent in the second and third quarter following a 3.2 per cent increase in the first quarter of 2018.

The central bank has projected a year on year real GDP growth of 4.4 per cent in the fourth quarter 2018 supported by a 6.7 per cent growth in the oil sector, due to a production base effect and higher price levels, and a 3.4 per cent increase in the non-oil sector.

Growth projections for 2019 show that economic activity will improve in the non-oil sector due to expected higher oil prices, more oil production, and the effects of the announced fiscal stimulus packages, underpinned by the strong fundamentals.

Real GDP is expected to grow by 4.2 per cent in 2019 as oil and non-oil sectors are projected to grow by 5.2 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.

“The announced fiscal stimulus packages will help lift economic growth, increase consumption, revitalise the property market, and improve labour markets as the investors and consumers sentiment continues to solidify,” the Central Bank quarterly report said.