24.5 C
New York
Saturday, August 13, 2022

UAE economy to recover next year, little impact from VAT: IMF

UAE economy to recover next year, little impact from VAT: IMFUAE economy to recover next year, little impact from VAT: IMF

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI (Reuters) – UAE NON-OIL SECTOR GROWTH TO RISE FROM 1.9 PCT THIS YEAR TO 2.8 PCT IN 2018 AND 3.3-3.5 PCT IN 2020 -IMF

DUBAI REAL ESTATE MARKET SOFTNESS NATURAL GIVEN SUPPLY AND DEMAND, NOT BIG THREAT TO ECONOMY -IMF

The United Arab Emirates economy is expected to recover gradually next year without suffering a significant blow to growth from the introduction of a 5 percent value-added tax in January, a senior International Monetary Fund official said.

Natalia Tamirisa, IMF mission chief to the Ara b world’s second biggest economy, said Dubai’s spending on preparations to host the Expo 2020 world’s fair would help to boost growth.

On Sunday, Dubai announced a 19.5 percent leap of spending in its 2018 state budget, largely because of higher allocations for infrastructure.

“We see a gradual recovery for the UAE over the next few years on the back of firming oil prices, a pick-up in global trade, investment for Expo 2020 and easing fiscal consolidation,” Tamirisa said in a telephone interview on Monday.

Non-oil sector growth is projected to rise from 1.9 percent this year to 2.8 percent next year, and to continue climbing to between 3.3 and 3.5 percent in 2020, she said.

The introduction of VAT next month will be a big change for consumers and companies, which have long been accustomed to minimal taxation in the Gulf.

Analysts believe some consumers may rush to make purchases this month to beat the tax, potentially setting the economy up for weakness early next year when the spending fades.

But Tamirisa said the effect was not likely to be large enough to hurt the economic recovery, and that the government looked set to manage the launch of the tax without disrupting business.

“After the initial adjustment we’re expecting smooth operation of the system. The preparations by the government have been quite extensive.”

The IMF’s forecasts assume oil will average over $62 a barrel next year, based on futures prices, compared to an average of about $54 this year. This should help strengthen the UAE’s finances in 2018 despite looser budgets, Tamirisa said.

The IMF expects the UAE’s consolidated fiscal deficit, including the federal government and all seven emirates, to shrink to 1.3 percent of gross domestic product next year and gradually disappear in subsequent years, from 2.2 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2016.

Dubai’s real estate market has been slumping for over two years, but Tamirisa described the slump as natural given an ample supply of new housing and an economic slowdown, and said it was not a fundamental threat to the economy.

“Oil prices still play an important role in the economy so it’s normal that they’re still working their way through the market,” she said, adding that the market still looked likely to recover after a period of consolidation.

Banks are much more resilient than they were during the UAE’s property market crash nearly a decade ago, and the fact that rents and real estate investment are not subject to VAT should help the market gain strength in the long term, she said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Source: Investing.com

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

11,292FansLike
12,893FollowersFollow
748FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

Popular Articles