ABU DHABI, March 14 The United Arab
Emirates' economic growth is expected to slow to 2.3 percent
this year from an estimated 4.9 percent in 2011, as the Gulf
country gradually consolidates fiscal policy, the International
Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.
"The economic recovery looks set to continue. With limited
potential for further increases in oil production in the near
term, overall GDP growth is expected to moderate to 2.3
percent," the Fund said in a statement after concluding its
annual consultations with the UAE.
The Fund's 2011 gross domestic product growth estimate is
much stronger than 3.9 percent forecast by analysts polled by
Reuters in December. The UAE's statistics bureau has
yet to release 2011 GDP data.
Robust oil prices and strong trade flows with Asia have
helped the second largest Arab economy recover from the
2009-2010 Dubai debt crisis, which exposed excesses in its
property sector and led to a $25 billion debt restructuring at
state-owned Dubai World.
The IMF warned, however, that the uncertain global economic
and financial environment posed risks to the outlook, and any
renewed worsening of the global situation could make it more
difficult for the UAE's government-linked companies to roll over
some of their maturing external debt.
It said substantial progress had been made in the debt
restructuring of state-linked entities, but that they still
faced high refinancing needs and continued reliance on foreign
UAE authorities' plans to gradually consolidate fiscal
policy, after heavy spending during the debt crisis, are
appropriate, the IMF also said.