Kuwait Economic Forecast

Kuwait Economic Outlook

July 2, 2019

The economy likely registered only a mild expansion in the first quarter, as oil production cuts constrained the energy sector. While the non-oil sector should have compensated somewhat, consumer spending appeared to lose momentum, as suggested by data on ATM withdrawals and point-of-sale transactions, and softer consumer confidence. Turning to the second quarter, growth was likely similarly subdued. In April and May, oil output averaged lower than in Q1 as Kuwait boosted compliance with the OPEC deal, which will have weighed on the oil sector. However, private-sector credit growth was robust in April, while brisk consumer borrowing growth in recent months could have fed through to stronger private consumption.

Kuwait Economic Growth

Growth should accelerate this year, with the non-oil sector set to strengthen thanks to an expansionary fiscal stance and healthy credit growth. However, the extension of oil production cuts will hamper momentum. Volatile oil prices, easing global economic momentum and geopolitical tensions pose downside risks to the outlook. FocusEconomics analysts expect growth of 1.8% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.9% in 2020.

Kuwait Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)3.94.04.24.34.5
GDP per capita (USD)44,48940,69427,26125,30126,840
GDP (USD bn)173164114110119
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.20.50.62.9-3.5
Consumption (annual variation in %)5.62.61.51.03.3
Investment (annual variation in %)-  -  -  -  -  
Unemployment Rate2.72.92.22.22.0
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)26.17.6-13.4-13.9-9.0
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)2.72.93.33.01.5
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)40.333.43.5-4.65.9
Current Account Balance (USD bn)69.855.04.0-5.17.1
Trade Balance (USD billion)89.678.327.819.525.6
Exports (USD billion)11510654.246.655.1
Imports (USD billion)25.427.326.427.029.5
Exports (annual variation in %)-3.8-8.2-48.7-14.118.3
Imports (annual variation in %)4.97.2-3.12.39.2
International Reserves (USD)29.532.228.431.133.7
External Debt (% of GDP)11.414.735.738.545.6

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Kuwait Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate0.30-0.05 %Jul 11

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