KUWAIT, Aug 22: Kuwaits economic growth picked up slightly in 2019, with gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by 0.4 percent to KD 39.4 billion (USD 130 billion) versus a year earlier, according to government statistics.
Real GDP growth in the non-oil sector increased by three percent last year, reaching KD 1.85 billion (USD 5.9 billion), while the oil sector shrank by 1.7 percent at KD 20.8 billion (USD 86.6 billion) in 2019, Kuwaits Central Bank Governor Dr. Mohammad Al-Hashel told the press.
The annual inflation rate increased by 1.1 percent last year, as compared to 0.6 percent in 2018, while population growth edged up by 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, versus an increase of 2.7 percent in the same period the previous year, he said.
Kuwait remains committed to a linked exchange rate system, pegging the national currencys value to those belonging to the countrys major trade partners, the official clarified.
The growth of broad money supply (M2) dropped by 1.2 percent, with a similar decline of 1.7 percent in Kuwaiti private sector bank deposits, while local credit facility balances across various sectors rose by 4.3 percent in 2019, he added.
Local budget growth recorded four percent growth in 2019 in comparison to the previous year, with Kuwaits budget deficit for the fiscal year 2018/2019 was worth KD 1.29 billion (USD 4.2 billion) versus the figure of KD 3.2 billion (USD 10.5 billion) posted a year earlier, the CBK’s governor noted.
Kuwaits budget deficit widened to KD 6.7 billion (USD 22.1 billion) in 2019, as compared to the previous years deficit of KD six billion (19.8 billion), the data showed, adding that the national stock market posted overall gains worth 92.3 percent in the same period, which was a tangible increase from a year earlier.(KUNA)