May 29, 2018 / 6:18 AM / a year ago

UAE non-oil economic growth slows slightly: central bank

DUBAI (Reuters) - Non-oil economic activity in the United Arab Emirates grew by 3.1 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter, slowing slightly from 3.4 percent in the final quarter of 2017, the central bank estimated on Tuesday.

Overall economic activity, which includes oil output, grew by 1.2 percent in the first quarter, accelerating from 0.1 percent in the previous quarter.

The central bank raised its forecast for gross domestic product growth in 2018 to 2.7 percent from its previous forecast of 2.5 percent.

Citing better prospects for the global economy, the bank lifted its prediction for the UAE’s non-oil GDP growth to 3.9 percent from 3.6 percent. But its forecast for oil GDP was cut marginally because of lower than expected oil output in the first quarter of this year.

For next year the central bank expects overall GDP to expand 3.1 percent on the back of 4.3 percent growth in the non-oil economy and a 0.1 percent uptick in oil GDP.

The UAE’s residential real estate market continued to decline in the first quarter of this year, with prices dropping 4.2 percent from a year earlier in Dubai and 7.8 percent in Abu Dhabi, the central bank said.

Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by David Goodman

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