UAE economy to lead GCC in 2019, Saudi set for slowdown

Economic recovery across the Middle East and North Africa is set to slow down in 2019 and growth is likely to be weaker than most expect, but the UAE at 3.5 per growth is likely to be the best performer in the region in the run-up to Expo 2020 Dubai, analysts at Capital Economics said.

In the Gulf, low oil prices shouldn’t cause major balance sheet strains, but tighter fiscal policy and oil output cuts will be the key reasons for weak economic growth to weaken, analysts observed in Capital Economics’ Mena Economic Outlook.

While the UAE’s economy is likely to be the best performer in the Gulf, helped by preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai, Saudi Arabia’s economy is set for a slowdown this year on the back of oil output cuts and tighter fiscal policy, said the report.

“Kuwait’s economy is the best-placed in the Gulf to cope with low oil prices, but even so we expect growth to remain weak. Balance sheets in Bahrain and Oman are relatively fragile. Financial support from neighbours should help to keep dollar pegs intact. In return, though, austerity is likely to be stepped up, weighing on economic growth,” said the report….read more

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