ABU DHABI, The UAE current account surplus surged to AED97.1 billion in 2017, accounting for 6.9 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, from AED48.5 billion, 3.7 percent of GDP, in 2016, on the back of rising oil prices and improving economic performance coupled with a trade balance surplus and a rise in investment income as well as a decline in trade deficit and a sharp fall in transfers during 2017.

The upsurge is attributed to a significant increase of 25.1 percent in hydrocarbon exports, as compared to 2016 as a direct result of the rise in the prices of crude oil and related by-products, with non-hydrocarbon exports up 0.3 percent, bringing total exports up by 4.6 percent of AED49.5 billion.

In the meantime, total imports including costs of insurance, and shipping from major partner countries increased by AED11.5 billion, with trade balance surplus standing high at 20.7 percent of the GDP.

In terms of services, the number of tourist arrivals increased by 8 percent, while tourist spending growth rate went down. Net investment income increased with inflows valued at AED10.2 billion as a direct result of rising interest rates and oil prices, while public sector transfers went slightly down and private sector transfers abroad increased due to a rise in the expats' remittances which led to a net increase of AED7.7 billion in transfers as compared to 2016.

The significant rise in current account surplus and decline in the trade balance deficit resulted in a balance of payment surplus of AED36.3 billion, comprising 2.6 percent of GDP.

Accordingly, net foreign assets held by the CBUAE increased during the same period by AED36.3 billion, inclusive CBUAE's Reserve Tranche Position (RTP) and Special Drawing Rights holdings with the International Monetary Fund.

Source: Emirates News Agency