The UAE economy is projected to grow faster this year, which would be third consecutive year of higher growth annually, official figures showed on Tuesday.

According to the UAE Central Bank’s annual 2018 report, the UAE economy grew 0.5 per cent in 2017 and 1.7 per cent in 2018. It is forecast to expand 2.0 per cent in 2019.

However, the apex bank revised down 2019 UAE GDP growth from 3.5 per cent in the last quarter report to 2.0 per cent in its latest annual report released on Tuesday.

Oil GDP growth for 2019 was revised down from 3.5 per cent to 2.7 per cent and non-oil GDP from 3.4 per cent to 1.8 per cent.

Even though the non-oil growth is expected to reach 1.8 per cent in 2019, supported by stronger fundamentals of the economy, the apex bank estimated that there would be deceleration in oil production consistent with the recent Opec+ agreement.

“As a result, the overall production in 2019 is projected to be an average of 3.1 million barrels per day, down from an average of 3.285 million barrels per day in Q4 of 2018, resulting in a growth of 2.7 per cent in 2019 in the hydrocarbon GDP. Therefore, real GDP growth rate is projected to reach 2.0 per cent in 2019,” the Central Bank said in 2018 report.

“Looking forward, the outlook of stronger economic recovery in 2019 seems positive for employment and financial conditions in the UAE. A well-capitalised, liquid and stable banking sector will continue to provide the platform to enhance financial stability and support economic growth,” said Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, governor of UAE Central Bank.

Central Bank projected that the UAE’s non-oil GDP to expand in coming years on the back of fiscal stimulus packages and the new investment law will encourage economic growth, increase consumption, reinvigorate the property market, and improve the labour markets as the investors and consumer sentiments continue to solidify.

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