Qatar’s economy sees 5.7% growth…

Qatar’s economy has grown 5.7% year-on-year on an inflation-adjusted basis in the second quarter of this year, mainly propelled by a double-digit expansion in the non-hydrocarbon sector, official data show.

The non-hydrocarbon sector, in which the country has placed greater emphasis for diversification, is estimated to have grown 11.3% while the hydrocarbon sector has witnessed a 2.2% decline in growth, according to the figures released by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics.

On a quarter-to-quarter basis, the economy is believed to have shrunk 0.2% with hydrocarbon segment falling 2.5%, even as the non-oil sector rose 1.2%.

Agriculture and fishing are estimated to have grown 9.6% year-on-year in the second quarter whereas mining and quarrying (which include oil and gas) reported 2.2% contraction.

The receding crude oil production and some major maintenance shutdowns in natural gas liquids (NGLs) and liquefied natural gases (LNGs) plants primarily explain the decline in the production volume of the hydrocarbon sector, a ministry spokesman said.

Within the non-hydrocarbon sector, finance, insurance, real estate and business services registered the maximum growth of 16.6%, followed by construction (14.5%), transport and communication (11.8%), electricity and water (11.7%), trade, hotels and restaurants (11.1%) and manufacturing (3.4%).

The country’s nominal economy is slated to have grown 6.6% with the hydrocarbon sector expanding 0.8% and the non-hydrocarbon sector 13.5%. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, the economy is believed to have retarded 2.2% with the hydrocarbon sector reporting 6.3% decline but the non-hydrocarbon sector witnessed 2.5% growth.

The farming and fisheries segment is estimated to have expanded 9.5% year-on-year and mining and quarrying (0.8%).

Within the non-oil segment, the construction sector is slated to have grown 22%, followed by finance, insurance, realty and business services (21.3%), transport and communication (13.6%), trade and hotels (1.1%), electricity and water (9.9%) and manufacturing (7.2%).

The recent Qatar Economic Outlook of the ministry had forecast that the country was expected to have “solid” growth in 2014 and 2015, driven by the non-hydrocarbon sector owing to accelerated investment spending and population growth.

The country’s real GDP (adjusted for inflation) is slated to grow 6.3% this year from 6.5% in 2013 and further to 7.8% in 2015, while domestic inflationary pressures are expected to heighten over the rest of 2014 and in 2015 on strong domestic demand.

More than $150bn has been earmarked for infrastructure upgrade in the run up to FIFA World Cup 2022 and in view of this, the country is already facing a rising influx of foreign workforce which has resulted in its total population crossing the 2mn mark.

Annual inflation, as measured by the change in the consumer price index, is expected to average 3% in 2014, similar to 2013’s outcome, and to increase modestly to 3.4% in 2015. Source: Gulf Times