UAE economy to grow by 2.8% this year, 4.2% in 2019 — central bank governor

The private sector was a key sector for the UAE and for future growth, UAE Central Bank Governor Mubarak Rashed Al-Mansoori said. (AFP)
Updated 06 November 2018
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UAE economy to grow by 2.8% this year, 4.2% in 2019 — central bank governor

  • Inflation is expected to stand at 3.6 percent for the year
  • The UAE has managed to diversify 77 percent of its economy in the aftermath of the fall in oil prices that began in 2014

DUBAI: The UAE economy is forecast to grow 4.2 percent in 2019, while the Emirate’s non-oil economy is expected to expand by 3.7 percent for the same year, the country’s central bank governor said on Tuesday.
“We tend to believe that Q3 GDP would be 3.1 (percent), non-oil GDP would be 3.3. We are hoping to close the year at 2.8 percent for the GDP and 3.3 percent for non-oil GDP and this is really coming from 2.5 percent in 2017,” Central Bank Governor Mubarak Rashed Al-Mansoori said during a speech at the MENA Financial Summit in Abu Dhabi, as reported by Zawya.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund said that the UAE’s economy was expected to grow by 2.9 percent this year and 3.7 percent next year.
The UAE Cabinet has announced last month a 17.3 percent increase in its federal budget spending for 2019, up to a predicted 60.3 billion dirhams ($16.4 billion), from 51.4 billion dirhams that was approved for 2018. The cabinet also announced that a forthcoming three-year federal budget would not run at a deficit.
Al-Mansoori added that inflation is expected to stand at 3.6 percent for the year.
“Due to the implementation of VAT, there is a one-time effect. So, we started in January at a high level but we have been declining ever since,” he said.
Inflation rose to 2.7 percent in January, from 1.5 percent the previous month, after a new 5 percent value-added tax was imposed on a majority of consumer products and services.
Al-Mansoori said inflation stood at 3 percent in September.
The UAE’s central bank chief also said that banks’ lending to the private sector had been “soft” at the beginning of this year, but has subsequently increased by 6.5 percent.
"In terms of our lending to the private sector, which I am sure a lot for journalists would like to see, we were soft at the beginning of the year but now we are starting really to pick up,” Al-Mansoori said.
“The private sector is really a key sector for the UAE and for future growth,” he added.
The UAE introduced a new debt law last month. The new regulation will allow the government to start issuing sovereign bonds in the local currency.
The governor said the UAE has managed to diversify 77 percent of its economy in the aftermath of the fall in oil prices that began in 2014.
He praised the country’s move to cut subsidies and implement other reforms to combat the drop in oil prices.


Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

Updated 22 April 2019
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Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

  • Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the US, Samsung has instead received brickbats
  • The hashtag #foldgate trended on Twitter because of the smartphone issues

SEOUL: Smartphone maker Samsung postponed media events for its Galaxy Fold planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a company official said, days after reviewers of the foldable handset reported defective samples.
The official did not elaborate on reasons or rescheduling.
Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the United States, the South Korean conglomerate has been blighted by technology journalists reporting breaks, bulges and blinking screens after using their samples for as little as a day.
Samsung said it received “a few” reports of damage to the displays of samples of the $1,980 handset, raising the specter of the combustible Galaxy Note 7 three years ago which the firm ultimately pulled from shelves at massive cost.
The reviewers’ reports of broken screens went viral online and prompted the creation of hashtag #foldgate on Twitter.
Samsung has hailed the folding design as the future in a field that has seen few surprises since Apple’s iPhone in 2007. Chinese rival Huawei Technologies has also announced a folding handset, the Mate X.
The Samsung official on Monday said it had no change to its previously announced release date in the United States.
It plans to begin South Korean and European sales in May, and Chinese sales from an undisclosed date.