Qatar’s GDP Growth to Rise 6.3% in 2014

Doha, June 24 (QNA) – The Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics expected a robust growth of Qatar’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to 6.3% in 2014 and 7.8% in 2015, driven by gathering expansion of the non-hydrocarbon economy.

This came in Qatar Economic Outlook (QEO) 2014-2015 report released today by the Ministry.

The impulse to growth from hydrocarbon production in past years is receding, and growth is increasingly dependent on solid performance in other sectors, according to the QEO report.

Commenting on these indicators, HE Minister of Development Planning and Statistics Dr. Saleh bin Mohammed Al Nabit said “The last few years have shown a robust trend of continuous growth in non-hydrocarbon sectors. Last year, for example, services and construction were the main contributors to economic growth, propelled by investments in infrastructure.”
He added “in the coming years, growth is expected to be more broadly based still.”
The QEO report, released every six month by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, said that inflation forecast to be largely unchanged in 2014 at 3.0% compared to 3.1% last year, and to increase modestly in 2015 to 3.4%.

Domestic inflationary pressures are expected to pick up over the rest of 2014 and in 2015 as domestic demand strengthens, though the moderate inflation in the first half of 2014 will restrain the year’s average, and a benign global inflation outlook will help to offset domestic sources of inflationary pressures in the near term.

The fiscal surplus in FY2013/14 was higher than the previous year’s. The balance is on track to remain in surplus in FY2014/15, even if narrowing over the forecast period, owing both to expenditure growth (capital and recurrent) as the public investment programme gathers pace, and to an expected decline in hydrocarbon revenue.

Although staying hefty as a share of GDP, the current account surplus is set to continue drifting down, mainly on declining hydrocarbon export revenue, rising imports and higher foreign workers’ remittances.

Risks to the outlook include chances of much weaker oil prices–reflecting a combination of weakening economic growth in emerging markets and expanding oil supply–and escalating domestic project costs that could cut into the fiscal surplus.

Still, “Qatar will continue strengthening its economic management and its private sector to reinforce its positive development trajectory,” Dr. Saleh said. (QNA)

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