UAE central bank to reassess 2020 growth forecast amid coronavirus fears

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The United Arab Emirates central bank will reassess its forecast for growth in 2020 to take into account the impact of coronavirus, according to Magda Kandil, the head of the research and statistics department at the central bank.

Growth will see some impact from overall weaker global growth due to coronavirus, said Kandil, speaking on Dubai Eye radio according to Reuters.

“Given what has transpired already, given implications on supply chain and demand, and disruption of transportation and tourism and cancellation of events, this will weigh negatively on global growth, and I think the UAE, we have to be realistic in this regard, will see some impact of this,” she said, speaking on Dubai Eye radio on Tuesday.

The International Monetary Fund last year had forecast 2020 growth of 2.5 percent for the UAE.

The UAE was the first country in the Middle East to record a case of coronavirus, on January 29. However, the outbreak in the country has remained limited, with only 21 cases, five of which are reportedly cured.

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Life in the UAE disrupted by coronavirus

Despite the limited number of cases, coronavirus has still had an impact on life in the emirates.

On Saturday, the country suspended all school extracurricular activities until further notice, as part of the preventative measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The Federal Authority for Land and Maritime Transport (FTA) suspended on February 27 ferry services with Iran until further notice, and obliged all commercial vessels coming into the country to present a statement of health condition for their crews, 72 hours ahead of arrival.

Organizers of Dubai Expo 2020, which starts in October and is projected to give the UAE an economic boost, have also announced that they are following the coronavirus outbreak closely, but are hopeful global efforts to manage the virus will succeed.

- With Reuters.

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