GCC economic expansion expected at around 3% in 2024

Inflation rates in the region are expected to dip, Lombard Odier analyst says


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Published: Mon 12 Feb 2024, 2:39 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Feb 2024, 1:46 PM

The GCC region is poised for a modest economic growth rebound at around three per cent in 2024, a senior analyst said.

“A gradual reversal of oil output cuts for some GCC economies, together with eventual rate cuts, is likely to propel growth in the region by just under three per cent in 2024, shrugging off the slowing global economy,” Samy Chaar, Chief Economist at Lombard Odier, said.

Amid elevated geopolitical risks, but with slowing global demand growth and ample supply, Lombard Odie expects Brent crude to trade in a $80-90 per barrel range this year with risks to the downside in coming months, then towards the middle of the range from mid-year.

Inflation rates in the region are expected to dip, following the recent rapid interest rate hiking cycles. “In the coming months, the region’s monetary authorities might intervene in the money market to cap intermittent liquidity squeezes,” Chaar said. In the UAE, authorities will be ready to adjust real estate sector regulations instead of monetary policy to limit the downside risks in Dubai property prices that are likely to see the negative impact of rising rates, he added.

Diversification away from hydrocarbon production will be key to the region’s economic prospects, where National ‘Visions’ will act as catalysts for coordinated investments into non-oil and gas sectors, Lombard Odier predicts. “In Saudi Arabia, investments in tourism and entertainment sectors will continue to accelerate in 2024. Public sector investments in the UAE will continue to jump as the country leads the region in solar energy investment,” Chaar said.

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