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Who was right?

Who was right?

The UAE economy grew in the first half of the year, but who has predicted the growth most accurately so far? Kipp wants to know who to believe in the future.

November 24, 2010 3:33 by

Everyone loves saying “I told you so.” Kipp very rarely gets to say it, thanks to cowardice – we have a tendency to avoid committing ourselves to any one opinion or course. Instead watch out for our usual line of reasoning, “It is widely believed that…” or “Popular opinion has it….” But other people are more prone to put themselves out there, and we respect them for doing it, even if they are wrong. And in this region, everyone is wrong a lot.

Economists and those commenting on the economy have it particularly hard. The complexities and subtleties of a financial system, coupled with the unpredictable human element, make it nearly impossible to be exactly spot on most of the time. Nevertheless they always give it a go, and a number have put their heads above the parapet to predict economic growth in the UAE for 2010. The half-yearly figures are now out for Dubai; using that as an indicator, who’s closest to the money so far? Here’s a selection of the main forecasts:

Let’s start a few months ago, in May. The UAE’s own National Bureau of Statistics was feeling confident, and predicted a robust 3.2 percent. Not exactly the 7.4 percent of 2008, but not bad given the tough global conditions. But this was a while back, and subsequent guesses have been more sober…

In early September, the Arab Monetary Fund was ready to throw its hat into the ring. The AMF said that GDP would grow a modest 2 percent (compared to a 1 perent contraction in 2009). Now we’re getting warmer…

Minister of Economy Sultan Mansouri offered his take: a slightly more ambitious 2.5 percent. He was quickly trumped by Standard Chartered Bank, which announced in mid September that it expected to see a 3 percent GDP growth in 2010 in the UAE.

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