(MENAFN) The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) stated that in 2012, countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will post a growth of 5.6 percent, compared with 7.4 percent in 2011, reported Arabian Business.
The ICAEW said that the growth is still being driven by high oil prices, investment in infrastructure and spending on public services, such as public sector salary rises that have increased consumer spending.
It noted that the process of diversification continues to be a challenge for most countries, even though the UAE is seeking to become a key financial, logistics and business center and Qatar has expanded its non-oil sector faster than the hydrocarbon sector.
The institute's report stressed that as economic diversification will take a long time to be achieved, it is important that governments and businesses strengthen their efforts.
It is worth noting that according to the report, gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the region is expected to decelerate further next year; however, it will still outperform the rest of the world.