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UAE current account surplus tops $26bn in 2017

ABU DHABI, May 29, 2018

The UAE current account surplus surged to Dh97.1 billion ($26.4 billion) in 2017, accounting for 6.9 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), from Dh48.5 billion, 3.7 per cent of GDP, in 2016, a media report said.

The upsurge was supported by rising oil prices and improving economic performance coupled with a trade balance surplus and a rise in investment income as well as a decline in trade deficit and a sharp fall in transfers during 2017, reported Emirates news agency Wam.

The expansion is attributed to a significant increase of 25.1 per cent in hydrocarbon exports, as compared to 2016 as a direct result of the rise in the prices of crude oil and related by-products, with non-hydrocarbon exports up 0.3 per cent, bringing total exports up by 4.6 per cent of Dh49.5 billion.

In the meantime, total imports including costs of insurance, and shipping from major partner countries increased by Dh11.5 billion, with trade balance surplus standing high at 20.7 per cent of the GDP.

In terms of services, the number of tourist arrivals increased by 8 per cent, while tourist spending growth rate went down. Net investment income increased with inflows valued at Dh10.2 billion as a direct result of rising interest rates and oil prices, while public sector transfers went slightly down and private sector transfers abroad increased due to a rise in the expats' remittances which led to a net increase of Dh7.7 billion in transfers as compared to 2016.

The significant rise in current account surplus and decline in the trade balance deficit resulted in a balance of payment surplus of Dh36.3 billion, comprising 2.6 per cent of GDP.

Accordingly, net foreign assets held by the CBUAE increased during the same period by Dh36.3 billion, inclusive CBUAE's Reserve Tranche Position (RTP) and Special Drawing Rights holdings with the International Monetary Fund.

Tags: UAE | Oil Prices | GDP | Current Account |

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