UAE Economic Outlook
Economic growth was likely robust but waned in H2 2022. Crude oil production in July–December grew at a softer annual pace than in the previous six months, as OPEC+ brought back quota cuts late last year. This likely reduced the oil sector’s contribution to growth. Regarding the non-oil sector, the private-sector PMI revealed conditions improved at a largely similar pace on average in H2 compared to H1. Economic activity should be slowing further so far this year. In January, oil production rose less than 4% year on year, while the PMI revealed that non-oil private-sector conditions improved at a softer pace in the first two months of 2023 relative to H2 last year. In geopolitics, the U.S. and other allies recently requested that the UAE stop reexports of critical goods to Russia; this could affect trade revenue.
Inflation in Dubai fell to 4.6% in January from 5.2% in December. Data for the UAE as a whole is not available past Q2 2022. However, in line with data for Dubai, price pressures in the UAE likely eased in recent months. Our panelists see overall inflation for the UAE moderating further in the coming quarters as external price pressures dim and interest rates rise.