The United Arab Emirates appears to be looking forward to continued economic growth through 2014. The latest Global CFO Signals report, which was released by the consulting firm Deloitte, notes that while chief financial officers throughout the Gulf region are still wary of political uncertainty and potential bumps in the economic recovery, they are generally optimistic. In fact, the report suggests that these CFOs typically have a more positive outlook than their counterparts in much of the rest of the world.
This confidence among business leaders seems to be reflected in a number of metrics of the current UAE economy. For example, on the debt front, the credit ratings agency Moody’s has estimated the country’s public and private debt to be high, but certainly manageable. The ratings firm also noted that the UAE could finance its deficit for many years, even in the event that the price of oil drops due to fiscal surpluses accumulated over the past decade.
Economic recovery is also noticeable in the UAE throughout the private sector. The end of 2013 witnessed a major recovery in the performance of the nation’s banking sector. Profitability for the year improved significantly as asset growth strengthened and lending tripled over the previous year.
Similarly, the information and communications technology sector is experiencing significant gains. The industry is expected to surpass $15 billion in 2014, compared with $14.3 billion in 2013. Much of the growth is driven by expanding software development and IT services, as well as the penetration of mobile devices into many sectors, ranging from aviation and telecom to government.