The UAE economy will shrink less than expected this year and return to growth in 2010, according to a new forecast by the IMF.

The strengthening price of oil over recent months means the IMF now expects the economy to contract by about 0.2%, instead of the 0.6% it had forecast in May.

It also predicted the Middle East would see 2% growth this year and it revised upwards its forecast for the region for next year to 4.%, from 3.7%.

The National