Kuwait Economic Forecast

Kuwait Economic Outlook

April 2, 2019

The economy lost steam in the fourth quarter of last year according to recent data, following upwardly revised growth in Q3. A notable slowdown in the energy sector, and a less marked slowdown in the non-energy sector, led the deceleration. Looking to Q1 2019, OPEC-agreed oil production cuts likely dealt a blow to the energy sector. Indeed, oil output averaged just over 2.7 mbpd in January and February, notably down from Q4’s average of close to 2.8 mbpd. However, the non-oil sector should have picked up some of the slack: Private credit growth was perky at the outset of the year, which, coupled with muted inflation, should have supported consumption.

Kuwait Economic Growth

Growth should accelerate this year, with non-oil activity supported by a healthy labor market and a large infrastructure push. However, the performance of the energy sector will be curtailed by oil output curbs. Volatile oil prices, ebbing global economic momentum and geopolitical tensions pose downside risks to the outlook. FocusEconomics analysts expect growth of 2.4% in 2019, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.8% in 2020.

Kuwait Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)44,48840,24827,01425,85927,260
GDP (USD bn)173163115111120
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)  
Investment (annual variation in %)8.94.515.52.0-  
Unemployment Rate2.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)22.219.9-10.9-  -  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)
Current Account (% of GDP)40.333.83.5-4.56.3
Current Account Balance (USD bn)69.855.04.0-5.07.6
Trade Balance (USD billion)89.678.327.820.123.5
Exports (USD billion)11510654.246.655.0
Imports (USD billion)25.427.326.426.431.5
Exports (annual variation in %)-3.8-8.2-48.7-14.118.2
Imports (annual variation in %)4.97.2-
International Reserves (USD)29.532.228.431.133.7
External Debt (% of GDP)11.414.732.637.2-  

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Kuwait Facts

Exchange Rate0.30-0.05 %Apr 12

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