Gulf Arab economies are expected to increase slightly faster in 2015, bolstered by robust private business activity regardless of additional falls in oil prices.
Brent crude oil, now at just above $96 a barrel, is down almost $20 from June’s peak. Many economists presume the downtrend to persist in coming years, even if at a slower pace, because of sufficient reserve.
However the financial positions of most Gulf Cooperation Council governments are estimated to continue strong enough for them to maintain spending sturdily, whereas private sector development may compensate any drop in activity in the hydrocarbon sector.
Saudi Arabia’s $748 billion economy is the largest in the Arab world, should enlarge 4.3% in 2015, a trace more than the 4.2% rate approximated in 2014 and 2016.
Both the 2015 and 2016 predicts for Saudi Arabia’s real gross domestic product progression are unaffected.
Qatar is expected to keep outshining the other five GCC nations with a 6.7% increase rate in 2015, much quicker than the 6.0% estimated in April, as it consumes billions of dollars on construction before it hosts the 2022 soccer World Cup tournament.
Meanwhile the price pressures in the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter are expected to intensify, taking the inflation rate to 4.0% in 2015 and 4.5% in 2016, the highest among the Gulf countries.
In the UAE, where a double-digit jump in Dubai property prices has taken place, GDP is expected to increase 4.5% next year.