Qatar’s real GDP growth expected to accelerate in remainder of 2013
Qatar continues to enjoy a strong economy, according to QBN Group.
Qatar’s real GDP expanded at a rapid pace in the first quarter of 2013 (6.2 percent year-on-year, according to the Qatar Statistics Authority), maintaining the same momentum as in 2012. At the same time, the current account surplus peaked on robust export performance and inflation remained moderate. QNB Group expects real GDP growth to accelerate during the remainder of 2013 (reaching 6.5 percent for the full year) and into 2014 (6.8 percent), supported by large infrastructure investments and associated population growth which will more than offset the strong headwinds from the global economy.
The growth figures for the first quarter of 2013 confirm the continued process of diversification of the Qatar economy away from its traditional role as a hydrocarbon exporter toward a manufacturing and services hub. Manufacturing was the fastest growing sector (12.5 percent, boosted by production from the new Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) facilities. Construction is booming, growing by 11.7 percent (6.3 percent in the first quarter alone)—an indicator that the rollout of Qatar’s infrastructure development program is gathering steam. On the other hand, the oil and gas sector—still the largest component of real GDP at 42 percent—was the lowest contributor to growth, expanding only at an annual rate of 0.8 percent as maintenance downtime at LNG facilities and fluctuations in oil production in late 2012 affected the first quarter results.