UAE economy minister revises 2012 growth outlook

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UAE's Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori speaks at a press conference in Dubai. Photo - Norbert Schiller

The UAE’s economy minister predicted on Monday the country’s gross domestic product growth would expand at around 3% this year, after a sharp fall in global oil prices over the last several weeks.

While speaking at a news conference on Monday, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori said he remained optimistic about growth this year despite cutting his forecast for 2012. The minister made a prediction of “almost 4%” growth back in March. At that time, Brent crude oil was around $125 a barrel. However, signs of a global economic slowdown have pushed oil prices to around $97 this week, the cheapest price since January 2011.

The UAE is one of the world’s top five oil exporters.

Al Mansoori also told the news conference that he expected inflation in the UAE of between 1 and 1.5 percent this year. He added that real GDP growth last year was 4.2 percent.

A Reuters poll of analysts in March predicted inflation of 2 percent in 2012 after 0.9 percent in both 2011 and 2010.

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