United Arab Emirates Economic Forecast

United Arab Emirates Economic Outlook

March 10, 2020

Economic growth slowed in the second half of 2019, according to the Central Bank’s preliminary data. A marked deceleration in the hydrocarbon sector weighed on the outturn as OPEC+ production cuts suppressed oil output growth toward the end of the year. The non-hydrocarbon economy fared better in H2, however, accelerating strongly from the tepid growth seen in the first six months of the year. Particularly, a tightening private-sector labor market and expanding credit growth boosted output in the sector. Turning to Q1 2020, although oil output rose year-on-year in January, slumping oil prices bode ill for the hydrocarbon sector, as does an impending price war following the collapse of OPEC+ talks in early March. Meanwhile, February’s non-oil PMI dropped to the lowest level on record, casting doubts on the sector’s ability to moderate the oil-driven slowdown.

United Arab Emirates Economic Growth

Economic growth is expected to decelerate this year as stagnating output will weigh on the oil sector. Coronavirus-related economic disruptions are the key risks to the outlook: Downward pressure on oil prices, air-travel demand and tourism levels—with the key Expo 2020 event at risk—will all hit growth prospects. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP to increase 2.0% in 2020, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s estimate, and 2.3% in 2021.

United Arab Emirates Economy Data

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)43,33537,37536,22037,24839,704
GDP (USD bn)403358357378414
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)-  -  -  -  -  
Investment (annual variation in %)
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)
Unemployment Rate2.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)1.9-3.4-2.0-1.41.2
Public Debt (% of GDP)15.518.720.220.019.1
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)3.673.673.673.673.67
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)3.673.673.673.673.67
Current Account (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance (USD bn)53.617.613.227.537.8
Trade Balance (USD billion)10876.668.467.281.5
Exports (USD billion)343300295314317
Imports (USD billion)235224227246235
Exports (annual variation in %)-7.6-12.4-
Imports (annual variation in %)2.0-
International Reserves (USD)78.493.985.495.499.5
External Debt (% of GDP)48.367.669.972.668.6

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United Arab Emirates Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate3.670.0 %Dec 31
Stock Market0.10.75 %Jan 07

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