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Kuwait GDP climbs in Q3, says NBK – Inflation drops

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 26, (KUNA): Kuwait’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.8 percent on annual basis in Q3 2018, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) said in a report on Saturday, indicating mounting contribution of the oil output to national economic growth. Surplus of the current account dropped, in Q3 2018, to KD 2.2 billion ($7.2 billion).

Decline in the current account surplus was posted despite continuing upward trend by the Kuwaiti oil prince, hitting $73 per barrel, 11 percent, accounting to 92 percent of the overall exports’ income.

As to the financial account that signals variations in possession of international assets, the NBK report noted that there was substantial increase of government deposits abroad, at a value of KD 1.5 billion (some $5 billion). Moreover, there was noticeable increase of the external lending by local companies, estimated KD 1.1 billion ($3.3. billion).

In end of Q3 2018, total balance of payments incurred a deficit amounting to KD 500 million ($1.6 billion), leading to decline, of an equal value, in the foreign currencies’ reserves at the Central Bank of Kuwait.

Headline inflation dropped in November by 0.1 percent on annual basis, against 0.2 percent in October – the lowest level since 2003. Core inflation, exempting food and housing, retained the level of 1.3 percent in November. Consumer spending rose in December by 0.9 percent, on monthly basis, due to procurements in the services category. Despite decline of the credit growth on monthly basis, it posted an increase of three percent year on year in November, in contrast to 2.9 percent in October.

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