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Kuwait economy back on track as pandemic loses steam

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Real estate, other sectors see growth

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 10: A report issued by the National Bank of Kuwait shows the Kuwaiti economy which suffered due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic is on the recovery path, thanks to the relatively high vaccination rates, and the momentum of consumer activity which gave boost to the non-oil based economy, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to the report growth has accelerated to record highs against the background of pent-up demand and support resulting from decisions taken by the government to give citizens a deadline to repay their loan installments. The residential real estate sales also witnessed a remarkable growth, partly due to the interest of investors in real estate while personal credit continued to record good growth in the third quarter of the year, while the local stock market continued the momentum that started in the second quarter of the year and took off to achieve more gains, to be ranked among the best performers at the level of emerging markets this year so far. The report indicated that the average production of Kuwaiti crude oil was 2.47 million barrels per day in September.

According to the production plan set by OPEC and its allies, Kuwait’s monthly production is expected to increase by 27,000 bpd until May 2022, after which the country’s baseline will rise by 150,000 bpd to reach 2.96 million bpd. The NBK pointed out that the pace of major project activity slowed in the third quarter of 2021, as the value of the awarded contracts decreased signifi- cantly to 152 million dinars, compared to 482 million dinars in the second quarter of the year, a decrease of 57% on an annual basis, according to the data. The Med Magazine said by the end of the third quarter of the year, the total value of the awarded contracts were worth 916 million dinars to date.

The magazine estimated the total value of projects awarded this year at 2.4 billion dinars, including 1.5 billion dinars in the fourth quarter of 2021. The NBK said according to the figures issued recently by the Ministry of Finance, which cover the first four months of the current fiscal year (April-July), the general improvement in public financial conditions was clearly noticeable, as the cumulative fiscal deficit shrank to 49.9 million dinars by the end of July, after posting revenues of 5.16 billion dinars, and expenditures 5.21 billion dinars. The increase in oil revenues by more than 100% compared to the same period last year was one of the most important fundamental factors, as was the sharp decrease in capital expenditure, which was only 127 million dinars.

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