Monetary and Economic Indicators (July – September 2019)

The periodical statistical bulletin of the Central Bank of Kuwait (July to September 2019) published on its web page, mentions some economic and monetary indicators whose developments deserve follow up and documentation. For example, the trade balance -commodity exports minus commodity imports- achieved KD 2.244 billion surplus in the third quarter of 2019, as Kuwait’s commodity exports during this quarter scored KD 4.739 billion of which 90.2% were oil exports. Value of commodity imports -excluding the military- was at KD 2.495 billion. Trade balance achieved a surplus in the first quarter of 2019 by KD 2.384 billion, then rose in the second quarter to KD 2.673 billion. Trade balance in the first three quarters of 2019 achieved surplus by KD 7.301 billion, or KD 9.735 billion for the entire 2019 if the fourth quarter continues at the same rate. Surplus in is expected to be lower by 9.4% than its counterpart in 2018 (KD 10.792 billion) due to declined oil prices compared to 2018 prices. 

Consumers’ prices during the third quarter of 2019 achieved positive growth by 1%. Their index scored 114.7 (year 2013=100) up from 113.6 in the second quarter. This level is within expectations. This growth was due to the dominant impact of the rise in the prices of transportation from 122.4 to 125.3 level (+2.4%) for the same period. As well as the rise in telecommunications services prices from 107.9 to 110.1 level (+2%) for the same period.

The bulletin indicates a rise in the weighted average rate of interest on deposits from about 1.616% in the second quarter of last year to 1.920% in the third quarter of 2019. The weighted average interest rate on loans decreased from 4.835% in the second quarter of 2019 to 4.820% in the end of the third quarter of 2019.

Private sector deposits at local banks scored KD 36.471 billion in the third quarter of 2019, declining from KD 37.115 billion in the end of the second quarter, declining by 1.7%. Finally, domestic banks’ claims from the private sector rose to KD 40.020 billion rising from KD 39.811 billion in the end of the second quarter, a quarterly growth rate by 0.5%.