Qatar’s official 2013 GDP growth forecast revised to 6.0% from 5.3% - ministry

By bne IntelliNews December 17, 2013

Qatar’s 2013 GDP growth forecast has been revised upwards to 6.0% from 5.3% reflecting the unforeseen expansion of gas production as well as the revisions of historical data in the services sector driving growth, development planning and statistics ministry said in a report.

The ministry forecasts the GDP growth will slow down to 4.6% in 2014 on the back of the expanding non-hydrocarbon economy lead by investments in infrastructure and real estate sectors coupled with an expansionary fiscal policy. The moderation in growth compared to previous years would reflect a marginal decline in oil production from maturing wells with leveling off of gas output.

According to development planning and statistics minister Saleh Al Nabit, the overall outlook is set to expand during the foreseeable future, at a time when the profile of the non-oil and gas economy will continue to become more pronounced, with new business opportunities arising in the financial services, transport, communications and tourism sectors.

Consumer inflation is forecast to accelerate from 3.2% in 2013 to 3.5% in 2014, expected to be driven by moderately higher prices of imports as well as by an upward pressure on rental housing due to rising material and project costs.   

The ministry anticipates Qatar’s dual fiscal and external surpluses to continue in 2014 and beyond. The fiscal surpluses will, however, slightly moderate after 2013 as capital spending related to infrastructure programmes ramps-up. While the current account surplus is expected to be close to 23% of GDP in 2014.

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