UAE central bank forecasts downbeat 2019 outlook, compared to IMF

By Abeer Abu Omar on 5/28/2019

DUBAI (Bloomberg) -- Economic growth in OPEC’s third-biggest producer this year will fall far short of previous estimates and could undershoot the latest projections from the International Monetary Fund, according to the central bank of the United Arab Emirates.

Gross domestic product will expand only 2% in 2019, compared with a previous forecast for 3.5% published in March, the central bank said in its annual report. The IMF sees a pickup to 2.7% from 1.7% last year.

Grim outlook

The oil economy is set to grow 2.7%, a downward revision from 3.7%, according to the central bank. The non-oil economy will expand an estimated 1.8%, versus an earlier forecast for 3.4%, it said.

The central bank singled out a deceleration in oil production as a drag on the economy, with crude output forecast at 3.1 MMbopd in 2019 from an average of 3.3 MMbbl in fourth-quarter of 2018. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies have been cutting supplies to counter a global supply glut and have suggested they may extend production cuts beyond June.

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