Soaring non-mining and quarrying output coupled with a mild recovery in the hydrocarbon sectors fuelled Qatar’s real GDP growth to 6.7% y/y in the fourth quarter of 2014 from 6.0% in Q3, the Qatar Statistics Authority said.
The oil and natural gas sector grew 1.3% y/y in Q4 but rebounded from a 2.8% annual contraction in the preceding quarter on higher output that offset declining crude oil prices.
The non-hydrocarbons output expanded 10.3% y/y in Q4, helping boost Qatar’s real GDP growth.
In 2014, Qatar’s GDP growth reached a robust 6.2%, remaining among the highest in the GCC amid aggressive public spending on infrastructure. Despite the strong GDP expansion, overall economic activity is being dented by the moratorium imposed on natural gas exploration and production.
Qatar’s GDP growth will speed up to 7.7% in 2015 fuelled by rapidly developing non-hydrocarbon sector, according to the Qatar Economic Outlook 2014–2016 update released by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics late last year. The gas-rich country's GDP growth will remain strong at 7.5% in 2016, the ministry forecasts.
In Q4 2014, construction output climbed a real17.7% y/y due to high public spending. The government will spend $220bn on infrastructure ahead of the 2022 World Cup. Last Friday, Standard & Poor's affirmed its AA long-term and A-1+ short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Qatar. The outlook is stable.
Qatar’s real economic growth will average around 4% annually in 2015-2018, S&P forecasts.
The manufacturing sector also remained strong, growing a real 5.0% y/y in Q4 despite cooling from a 7.3% y/y expansion in the preceding quarter, fuelled by expanding petrochemicals production.
The trade, restaurants and hotels sector climbed a real 12.8% y/y in Q4 on strong local, expatriate and tourist demand.
In nominal terms, Qatar’s GDP expanded 4.2% to QAR771bn in 2014.
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