Kuwait Economic Forecast

Kuwait Economic Outlook

May 7, 2019

There was a dual economic picture in the first quarter of the year. While the energy sector was likely held back by OPEC-agreed oil cuts, as reflected by falling oil production, the non-oil sector likely performed fairly well. Private-sector credit growth was brisk in January and February, which should have buoyed household spending despite a drop-off in consumer confidence in recent months. Moreover, recent data regarding government finances is encouraging; in the first 11 months of FY 2018 (April 2018-February 2019), the country recorded a small fiscal surplus. This comes after the economy lost steam in the fourth quarter of last year on the back of slowdowns in both the oil and non-oil sectors.

Kuwait Economic Growth

Growth should accelerate this year, with non-oil activity supported by employment growth and a large infrastructure push. However, the performance of the energy sector will be hampered by curbs to oil output. Volatile oil prices, easing global economic momentum and geopolitical tensions pose downside risks to the outlook. FocusEconomics analysts expect growth of 1.9% in 2019, which is down 0.5 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.8% in 2020.

Kuwait Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)3.94.04.24.34.4
GDP per capita (USD)44,48840,24827,01425,85927,260
GDP (USD bn)173163115111120
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.20.50.63.5-2.9
Consumption (annual variation in %)5.62.61.54.8-  
Investment (annual variation in %)8.94.515.52.0-  
Unemployment Rate2.62.92.22.12.1
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)22.219.9-10.9-  -  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)2.72.93.33.21.5
Policy Interest Rate (%)2.002.002.252.502.75
Exchange Rate (vs USD)0.280.290.300.310.30
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)0.280.280.300.300.30
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 %)4.97.2-3.10.119.2
International Reserves (USD)29.532.228.431.133.7
External Debt (% of GDP)11.414.732.637.2-  

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Kuwait Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate0.30-0.05 %May 13

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