UAE’s non-oil economy expands by 3.1% in 1st quarter of 2018: Central Bank

The country’s efforts at weaning itself off from its oil-driven export economy is gradually bearing fruit.

On Tuesday, as per an estimate by the central bank of the United Arab Emirates, non-oil economic activity grew by 3.1% for the same period from a year earlier; it has however slowed down slightly by 3.4% in the final quarter of 2017.

Nevertheless, the country’s overall economic activity, including oil output, rose by 1.2% in the first quarter of this year, a rise of 0.1% for the same period a year earlier.

UAE’s central bank has raised its forecast for the country’s GDP in 2018 to 2.7% from its earlier forecast of 2.5%.

It has attributed the rise of 0.2% to improved market conditions and better prospects for growth in the global economy.

The central banker has also forecast a non-oil GDP growth of 3.9% from its previous 3.6% and has tapered its oil GDP forecast due to lower than expected oil output during the first quarter of this year.

For the next three years, the central bank expects UAE’s GDP to grow by 3.1% on the back of a robust 4.3% growth in the non-oil economy.

The central bank also reported that UAE’s residential real estate market has continued to trod on its downward slope during the first quarter of 2018, with prices dropping by 7.8% in Abu Dhabi and 4.2% in Dubai, from a year earlier.

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