Kuwait set for stronger growth
Economic growth is expected to strengthen in 2019 compared with 2018 thanks to an upturn in non-oil activity. In its Article IV assessment in January 2019 the International Monetary Fund said that as capital project implementation accelerated, non-oil growth was projected to increase to about 3.5% in 2020. However, the December 2018 decision by Opec to cut production is expected to keep oil output growth to 2% in 2019, assumed an average oil price of $57 per barrel in 2019–20, increasing to $60 per barrel over the medium term. In its October 2018 world economic outlook, the International Monetary Fund said the economy would enjoy a more robust recovery than had been hoped for after the recession in 2017 brought on by the collapse in oil prices. The economy likely grew by 2.3% in 2018, the IMF said, a signi cant upgrade from the 1.3% it had pencilled in in April 2018. Annual GDP growth rose to 1.8% in the third quarter of 2018 from 0.6% in the previous three months period, according to o cial gures. The spike was driven by a turnaround oil GDP growth to 1.5% after a contraction of 2.1% in the previous quarter. Non-oil growth slowed to 2.3% from 4.%. Standard & Poor’s, the ratings agency, lowered its 2019 GDP growth forecast 1.0% from 3.2% given the oil production cuts announced by Opec. The World Bank also gave a slightly less upbeat outlook in its October 2018 economic outlook. Growth is expected to rebound to 3.1% in 2019 rather than the 3.5% it expected in April. Moody’s forecasts non-oil GDP growth of 3.5% in 2018 and 4.0% in 2019 driven by growing government spending.