Barclays Capital projected economic real GDP growth in the economies of the Gulf Cooperation Council at 5.5% in 2012 and 3.9% in 2013 compared to a growth rate of 7.3% in 2011, with hydrocarbon output decreasing to 4.4% in 2012 from 8.6% last year and non-hydrocarbon sector activity growing by 6.2% in 2012 relative to 6.5% in 2011. It said that oil production in key GCC oil producers maintained its upward trend despite expectations of a more pronounced global economic slowdown in the second half of the year and in 2013.
Barclays Capital projects nonhydrocarbon growth at 11.5% in Qatar, 6.2% in Saudi Arabia, 5.3% in Kuwait, 4.5% in each of Oman and Bahrain, and 3.8% in the UAE
It noted that Kuwait's crude production rose by 16.2% annually so far this year, followed by Saudi Arabia with an 8% increase and the UAE with a 3.6% growth. It expected Saudi Arabia's oil production to remain at the 10 million barrels per day level for the remainder of the year, constituting an increase of 200,000 barrels per day from an earlier forecast, as the Kingdom increases its production to stabilize global oil prices around $100 per barrel. It projected nonhydrocarbon growth at 11.5% in Qatar, 6.2% in Saudi Arabia, 5.3% in Kuwait, 4.5% in each of Oman and Bahrain, and 3.8% in the UAE this year.
Kuwait to post the highest surplus of 32.3% of GDP in 2012, followed by Saudi Arabia with 15.9% of GDP, the UAE with 7.3% of GDP, Qatar with 6.9% of GDP and Oman with 3.8% of GDP
In parallel, Barclays projected the region's fiscal surplus to increase to 13.9% of GDP this year from 11.8% of GDP in 2011, with Kuwait posting the highest surplus of 32.3% of GDP in 2012, followed by Saudi Arabia with 15.9% of GDP, the UAE with 7.3% of GDP, Qatar with 6.9% of GDP and Oman with 3.8% of GDP. It forecast Bahrain's fiscal balance to post a deficit of 0.5% of GDP this year. Also, it projected the GCC's current account balance to post a surplus of 23.1% of GDP in 2012 relative to a surplus of 24.4% of GDP in 2011. It expected Kuwait to register the highest surplus in the region at 43.6% of GDP, followed by Qatar at 27.3% of GDP, Saudi Arabia at 25.8% of GDP, Oman at 16.4% of GDP, Bahrain at 12.3% of GDP and the UAE at 10.8% of GDP.
Barclays Capital – Byblos Research