Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Emirates is expected to fall 2.8 percent this year due to the slowdown in world economic growth, Planning Minister Sheikh Humaid Bin Ahmad Al-Moalla said.
Sheikh Humaid, in a report published Saturday, said GDP was projected to ease to 235 billion dirhams ($64 billion) this year, compared to 242 billion dirhams ($65.9 billion) in 2000.
The slowdown in world growth is expected to slacken demand for crude, the main source of revenue for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he said, forecasting an average price of 23 dollars per barrel for the basket of OPEC crudes.
The minister's figures were higher than reported by the central bank in March. It said GDP reached 223 billion dirhams ($60.8 billion) last year on the back of oil price rises.
The population of the UAE rose to 3.108 million at the end of 2000, said Sheikh Humaid.
Foreigners, mostly from the Indian sub-continent, make up more than 80 percent of the population, according to unofficial estimates. ― (AFP, Abu Dhabi)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)