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UAE Real GDP up 1.4% in 2010

Middle East : 13 November 2011

Source: Emirates 24|7

The UAE’s real GDP swelled by nearly 1.4 per cent in 2010 after contracting by about 1.6 per cent in 2009 while nominal GDP growth was above 10 per cent last year, government figures showed on Sunday.

Inflation, which peaked at 12.3 per cent in 2008, dived to only 1.6 per cent in 2009 and continued its decline to reach one of its lowest levels of about 0.8 per cent in 2010, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy Development (DED) said in its 2011 economic report for Abu Dhabi.

The report showed a surge in oil prices largely widened the country’s trade surplus to nearly Dh186.8 billion in 2010 from Dh154.6 billion in 2009.

From around 963.5bn in 2009, the UAE’s real GDP grew to nearly Dh977.3bn in 2010, maintaining its position as the second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia.

The non-oil sector’s contribution to GDP also expanded to around 69 per cent last year from 66 per cent in 2009.

Real growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector was put at around five per cent in 2010 against a contraction of 4.3 per cent in 2009.

In current prices, the UAE’s GDP expanded by 10.1 per cent to a record high of around Dh1,093bn from Dh992.8bn in 2009.

A breakdown showed the non-oil GDP stood at Dh749.2bn and the oil sector at Dh343.9bn in 2010.

“The improvement in the economy last year was a result of several factors, including higher oil prices and better performance in many non-oil sectors…on the other hand, some key sectors did not record real recovery last year including the financial and construction sectors,” the report said.

The report noted that there was a big gap between real GDP growth estimates by DED and those by the IMF, which put it at 3.2 per cent.

“There is a big gap between these estimates,” it said without giving reasons for the difference.

Turning to trade, the report showed strong oil prices boosted overall exports and re-exports to around Dh779.6bn in 2010 from Dh704.4bn in 2009. Oil exports alone grew to Dh275.7bn from Dh249.3bn.

Imports also increased to around Dh592.8bn last year from Dh549.8bnin 2009, the figures showed.

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