Kuwait Economic Forecast

Kuwait Economic Outlook

January 8, 2019

The Kuwaiti economy accelerated in the third quarter of 2018 on the back of robust growth in the non-oil sector—thanks to the services and the agriculture sectors—and the oil sector, where increased production was accompanied by rising prices. The external sector has also continued to perform enviably through October. Exports increased over a third in the first 11 months with particularly strong growth in the July–September period, partly on the back of the strong rise in oil prices. Looking ahead, the sharp decline in oil prices since early October will weigh on growth in the final quarter of 2018 and beyond.

Kuwait Economic Growth

Pro-business reforms to attract FDI and a large infrastructure investment push should buttress the economy this year. However, a prolonged and marked drop in oil prices will weigh on growth, while domestic political tensions hampering diversification efforts cloud the outlook. Met the why particular panelists expect growth of 3.4% in 2019, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.0% in 2020.

Kuwait Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)3.94.04.24.34.4
GDP per capita (USD)44,48811,24827,01425,85927,260
GDP (USD bn)173163115111120
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.20.50.63.5-2.9
Consumption (annual variation in %)5.62.61.54.8-  
Investment (annual variation in %)8.94.515.52.0-  
Unemployment Rate2.62.92.22.12.1
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)22.219.9-11.9-  -  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)2.72.93.33.21.5
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)11.333.83.5-4.56.3
Current Account Balance (USD bn)69.855.04.0-5.07.6
Trade Balance (USD billion)89.678.327.820.123.5
Exports (USD billion)11511654.246.655.0
Imports (USD billion)25.427.326.426.431.5
Exports (annual variation in %)-3.8-8.2-48.7-14.118.2
Imports (annual variation in %)4.97.2-3.10.119.2
International Reserves (USD)29.532.228.431.133.7
External Debt (% of GDP)11.414.732.637.2-  

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Kuwait Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate0.30-0.05 %Jan 30

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