Kuwaiti consumer spending abroad surges by 12% in economic rebound

Domestic spending rises by 8.5%

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 29: In a noteworthy indication of the swift recovery of the Kuwaiti economy, official figures reveal a 12% increase in consumer spending outside Kuwait, reaching 2.7 billion dinars in the past year. This surge reflects an accelerated pace compared to the 2.4 billion dinars spent in 2022, reports Al-Qabas daily. Domestic consumer spending by citizens and residents totaled about 45.7 billion dinars, with 43 billion dinars spent within Kuwait and 2.7 billion abroad — an 8.5% increase from 2022. Central Bank of Kuwait statistics highlight that the majority of overseas spending occurred through point-of-sale devices and online transactions using bank or credit cards.

Foreign website transactions alone amounted to approximately 1.2 billion dinars, with the last quarter of 2023 witnessing an unprecedented quarterly spending figure of 11.5 billion dinars. As oil prices continued to rise, government deposits saw a significant jump of 37.2% in 2023, reaching 4.63 billion dinars, compared to 3.37 billion dinars in 2022. Total deposits increased by 3.8%, totaling 48.72 billion dinars by the end of December 2023. The breakdown of total deposits reveals growth in private sector deposits by 1.1%, reaching 37.34 billion dinars, while public institutions’ deposits increased by 2% to 6.753 billion dinars. Local banks witnessed a 3.7% growth in total assets, reaching 87.666 billion dinars at the end of 2023. Net foreign assets surged by 17.9%, totaling 12.21 billion dinars, and shareholders’ equity increased by 0.12% to 14.39 billion dinars.

Credit facilities provided by banks experienced a 2.1% increase, totaling 53.5 billion dinars at the end of 2023. Personal cash facilities grew by 1.5%, reaching 18.7 billion dinars, with consumer loans at 1.967 billion dinars. Housing facilities exhibited a 1.7% increase, totaling 16.01 billion dinars in 2023. However, private and typical housing loans decreased by 7% to 303.4 million dinars. New credit facilities declined by 2.75%, reaching 22.431 billion dinars. The Central Bank of Kuwait reported a 1% annual decline in the official reserve assets, recording about 14.6 billion dinars at the end of December 2023, compared to 14.7 billion dinars in December 2022.

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