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NBK foresees solid economic growth in GCC, despite risks

According to a report by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the GCC are set to witness further solid economic growth in the next two years, supported by high oil prices, strong government financial balances and a continued wave of public spending on infrastructure projects and social items, Kuna has reported. Oman may be the region's fastest growing economy in 2013, knocking Qatar off the top spot it has held for eight years, the report said. Real GDP growth is seen dipping from 5.1% in 2012 to 3.5% in 2013, though the decline is largely due to a policy-driven cut in oil output from Gulf OPEC members. Non-oil growth - a better measure of underlying economic performance - will stay close to 5%, slightly above the average of the previous three years, NBK said.