Qatar’s real GDP growth remains strong at 6.2% y/y in Q1 2013

By bne IntelliNews July 1, 2013

Qatar’s GDP grew a real 6.2% y/y in Q1, bolstered by strong non-hydrocarbon output which largely offset weakening gas and oil sector amid the country’s self-imposed moratorium on developing new hydrocarbon projects until 2015, the Qatar Statistics Authority said. On a quarterly basis, Qatar’s GDP rose 1.6% in Q1. In nominal terms (current prices), the GDP increased 6.1% y/y to QAR 185.3bn (USD 51bn). The oil and natural gas sector contributed some 58% of GDP at a nominal value of QAR 106.8bn. 

In Q1, construction output climbed 11.7% y/y and 6.3% q/q due to high public spending. The government will spend USD 140bn on infrastructure ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

The utility sector's real output grew 8.6% over the period given strong local and expat demand and industrial activity. The manufacturing sector's output climbed 12.5% y/y as new petrochemical production sites became operational and external demand held up. Higher output of Gas to Liquids (GTL), polymers products and methanol boosted the reading.

The mining and quarrying sector inched up 0.8% y/y amid Qatar's self-imposed moratorium on developing new hydrocarbon projects until 2015. The overall non-hydrocarbon output remained strong in Q1, climbing 10.6% y/y. Qatar’s real GDP growth will reach 5.3% in 2013, up from the previous forecast of 4.8%, as pipeline gas output will rise and unscheduled shutdowns, which dented energy output in 2012, are unlikely to be repeated, according to government forecasts.

Qatar’s non-hydrocarbon sector will likely expand by 9% in 2013, while its natural gas sector will virtually stagnate until 2017, finance minister Youssef Kamal has recently said. 

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