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29 November 2023

IMF completes annual review of UAE economy

By Staff Writer

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed its annual review of the UAE economy but has not yet published details of its report.

IMF executive board concluded its Article IV consultation with UAE authorities on January 9, the Washington-based Fund said adding that it involved a comprehensive analysis of the general economy.

"Under Article IV of its Articles of Agreement, the IMF has a mandate to exercise surveillance over the economic, financial and exchange rate policies of its members in order to ensure the effective operation of the international monetary system," the IMF said in an online statement without giving further details.

"The IMF's appraisal of such policies involves a comprehensive analysis of the general economic situation and policy strategy of each member country aimed at helping member countries achieve orderly macroeconomic and financial conditions and sustainable economic growth."

Official UAE sources said the detailed report had been withheld at UAE request but added it would be published later pending further consultations with the IMF.

According to official data, the UAE's gross domestic product (GDP), the second largest in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia, surged by around 13.9 per cent in nominal terms and 6.1 per cent in real terms in 2008.

From around Dh703 billion in 2007, the country's nominal GDP rose to nearly Dh801bn last year. The oil sector jumped by 24.2 per cent to Dh305.5bn from Dh246bn while the non-oil sector swelled by around 8.4 per cent to Dh495.5bn from nearly Dh457bn in the same period.

"Achieving high growth rates despite the sharp decline in oil prices towards the end of 2008 is in itself a very good development as this demonstrates the strength of the UAE economy and its ability to overcome any repercussions of the global economic crisis," said the Emirates Industrial Bank.

But according to independent forecasts, the country's real GDP growth could plunge to less than one per cent this year because of the oil price crash, lower crude output and possible shelving of some projects. In nominal terms, the UAE's GDP could tumble by more than 21 per cent in 2009.