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Large Cap4,023 0.80
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GFH 0.46 3,578,848
BKSB 0.14 275,822
DSI 0.39 45,711,538
ALINMA 16.41 24,441,807
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ALKHODARI 9.95 301,307
DANA 0.6 9,001,191

Kuwait Briefs- February-March 2009

Source: NBK Capital

Kuwait economy: weakness into 2009…

It is no secret that the Kuwaiti and world economies slowed down in 2008 and are facing weaker conditions for 2009. It is also no secret that Kuwaiti officials are scrambling to address a variety of related economic issues. The Central Bank, the rescue team, the government and the national assembly have acted or are about to act in the next few weeks.

While most people would agree that sentiment, business and consumer, has sagged recently and while most of us have heard anecdotes about a slowing economy, we decided to tale a look at the hard evidence: economic data. And though we lack general activity data in Kuwait such as total sales, or incomes or GDP (latest is from 2007) we do have enough evidence to support the following view: the general economic slowdown started earlier in 2008, and worsened in the last quarter of the year.

Before oil prices took a tumble and before stocks peaked in July last year, the real estate market was perhaps the first to start the deceleration trend early in 2008 if not before. Rents, as captured in the CPI index, were showing signs of overheating. Rent increases peaked at 16% at the start of 2008 and have since fallen to 10% year-on-year (yoy) as per (old) September numbers.

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