The UAE’s real GDP swelled by nearly 1.4 percent in 2010 after contracting by about 1.6 percent in 2009 while nominal GDP growth was above 10 percent last year, government figures showed on Sunday.
In September Reuters reported that the previously estimated gross domestic product rose 2.4 percent in 2010. But inflation, which peaked at 12.3 percent in 2008, dived to only 1.6 percent in 2009 and continued its decline to reach one of its lowest levels of about 0.8 percent in 2010, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy Development said in its 2011 economic report for Abu Dhabi.
The report showed a surge in oil prices largely widened the country’s trade surplus to nearly Dh186.8 billion in 2010 from Dh154.6 billion in 2009. From around 963.5bn in 2009, the UAE’s real GDP grew to nearly Dh977.3bn in 2010, maintaining its position as the second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia.
The non-oil sector’s contribution to GDP also expanded to around 69 percent last year from 66 percent in 2009. Real growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector was put at around five percent in 2010 against a contraction of 4.3 percent in 2009. In current prices, the UAE’s GDP expanded by 10.1 percent to a record high of around Dh1, 093bn from Dh992.8bn in 2009.
A breakdown showed the non-oil GDP stood at Dh749.2bn and the oil sector at Dh343.9bn in 2010. “The improvement in the economy last year was a result of several factors, including higher oil prices and better performance in many non-oil sectors…on the other hand, some key sectors did not record real recovery last year including the financial and construction sectors,” the report said.
A big gap between real GDP growth estimates by DED and those by the IMF, has been noted, mentioned in the record, which put it at 3.2 percent.