Gulf News In Focus:
UAE’s real GDP to grow by 5.9pc in 2022: World Bank
The World Bank estimated the UAE’s real GDP to grow by 5.9 percent in 2022.
“Higher oil receipts, supplemented with a gradual non-oil recovery in the Emirates will bolster fiscal revenue resulting in a fiscal surplus to hover around 4.4 percent of GDP in 2022,” the bank said in its new Gulf Economic Update (GEU).
The World Bank, however, expected the country’s real GDP to moderate to 4.1 percent in 2023 as slower global demand may dampen growth due to tightening financial conditions.
“Recent bilateral free trade agreements with Asian partners supported by strong oil exports will place the UAE’s current account surplus at 11.2 percent of GDP in 2022,” the bank report said.
The bank has also hailed the UAE’s ‘favorable business environment and world-class infrastructure for the buoyancy in its economy.
According to the GEU, the economies of the GCC are projected to expand by 6.9 percent in 2022, before moderating to 3.7 percent and 2.4 percent in 2023 and 2024.
From spies to free trade: Bahrain and Israel aim to deepen economic ties
Israel and Bahrain hope to reach a free trade agreement before the end of the year, potentially deepening ties between them which have lagged behind other Arab countries that officially recognized Israel.
“We’re optimistic and hopeful that we will close the deal by the end of the year,” Bahraini Minister of Industry and Commerce Zayed Alzayani said during a trip to Israel on Monday, where he was leading a business delegation.
Bahrain, along with the UAE, was one of the original signatories to the US-brokered Abraham Accords in September 2020. Morocco and Sudan followed shortly after.
The deal normalized ties between Israel and its neighbors, opening the way for greater economic and security cooperation but broke with decades of precedent which held that Arab states would not officially establish relations with Israel until a resolution to the conflict with Palestine was reached.
Kuwait: air travelers from these 3 Arab countries are not allowed to bring food
Kuwait has decided to ban entry of food with travelers coming from three Arab countries amid concerns over a cholera outbreak, a Kuwaiti newspaper has reported.
The Kuwaiti Health Ministry had requested agencies operating at the Kuwait International Airport to take the necessary measures to prohibit the entry of food for personal use with passenger arrivals from Syria, Lebanon, and neighboring Iraq, Al Qabas said, quoting sources it described as well-informed.
“Health authorities have called for necessary abidance by recommendations related to cholera in stricken countries in view of its outbreak in some neighboring countries,” the sources added.
They did not say when the ban will come into effect.
There was no immediate comment from Kuwaiti authorities on the report.
UAE’s non-oil private sector economy improves in Oct
Business activity in the UAE’s non-oil private sector economy continued to improve in October as new business and output climbed along with a rise in demand and employment.
The seasonally adjusted S&P Global purchasing managers’ index climbed to 56.6 in October, up from 56.1 in September. The index reading was a shade under the three-year high of 56.7 achieved in August, underpinning the health of the country’s non-oil economy.
A reading above the neutral level of 50 indicates growth while one below it points to a contraction.
“The UAE PMI crept back up … indicating that the non-oil private sector had continued to grow at a robust pace at the start of the fourth quarter,” said David Owen, an economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.
“The upturn was led by sharp expansions in business activity and new orders, giving further evidence that domestic firms were not only weathering the global economic storms but enjoying strong demand growth.”
Central to the upturn was another sharp expansion in business activity at the start of the fourth quarter, as businesses surveyed reported higher client demand.
The rate of activity growth in the non-oil economy rose sharply from September and was the second fastest since July 2019.
New order inflows also rose at a steep rate in October, with companies posting the joint-strongest expansion in 11 months.
Some businesses cited growth in new clients, lower prices, improved services, and the coming Fifa World Cup in Qatar as contributing factors to the sharp rise in sales.
Saudi Arabia’s GDP rises by 8.6%
The global economy is facing one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history. As the likelihood of a global recession has increased, according to a new report from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP).
Volatility continues to gather momentum, creating downward pressure in global markets including China, the EU, the UK, and the US. Despite a slowing economic growth outlook, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia registered real GDP growth of 8.6% y/y in the third quarter of 2022. Inflation was also contained at 2.9% – one of the lowest rates among the G20 nations.
This is according to the new version of the economic report issued by the MEP. They will be published quarterly by the ministry to provide a regular, accurate, and detailed update on the performance of both the global economy and the Kingdom’s local market.
Domestically, real non-oil GDP growth expanded by 5.9% following seven consecutive quarters of growth, a run that stretches back to the first quarter of 2021. Manufacturing, wholesale, retail trade, restaurants and hotels, construction, and transport were among the key contributors to the Kingdom’s non-oil GDP growth in the third quarter of 2022.