Qatar Central Bank’s foreign exchange (FX) reserves have risen to $52.7bn in May, QNB said in its latest ‘Qatar Monthly Monitor’. The country’s trade balance surplus remained healthy at $3.7bn in May, the report revealed.In terms of Qatar’s fiscal and external balances, QNB noted the current account balance surplus was $2bn in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019. The fiscal account surplus widened to 3.4% of GDP in fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018. Qatar’s banks had seen their assets, deposits and credit grow in May, QNB said. Qatari banks asset growth accounted for 5.9% year-on-year in May, while deposits grew 2.7% year-on-year that month. Credit growth witnessed by local banks in May stood at 5.6% year-on-year. On the other hand, private sector, public sector deposits decreased 0.9% and 0.4% month-on-month respectively while non-resident deposits with Qatari banks increased 5.5% month-on-month in May.
Interbank rates remained broadly stable as of July 5, QNB noted. Qatar Sovereign 5-year CDS Spreads stood around 60 basis points (bps) as of July 5, the report said. Qatar Interbank Offered Rates (QIBOR) three-month interest rates remained stable while dollar-based London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) three-month interest rates drifted down as of July 5.In terms of money and banking, broad money supply (M2) declined 4.5% year-on-year in May. M2 is a measure of the money supply that includes cash, checking deposits, and easily convertible near money. Broad money supply is a closely watched as an indicator of money supply and future inflation, and as a target of central bank monetary policy.
In terms of Qatar’s economic activities, QNB said the country’s real GDP growth was 0.9% year-on–year in first quarter (Q1) 2019. Non-hydrocarbon GDP growth was 1.6% year-on–year in Q1, 2019. CPI inflation was at -0.5% year-on–year in May. Manufacturing production grew 1.1% year-on–year in April. The real estate price index was up 1% year-on–year. Brent crude prices declined to average $63bn in June, QNB said. Qatar’s 5-star and 4-star hotel occupancy rates declined to 63% and 68% respectively in May, the economic monitor said. Qatar’s population increased 2.2% year-on–year to 2.64mn in June, QNB said.
Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times