Qatar’s GDP grew by around 3.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, helped by a surge in manufacturing and other non-hydrocarbon sectors, according to official data.
The oil sector, which had made big leaps in previous years, edged down by about 0.8 per cent in the third quarter compared with the third quarter of 2011 because of slower LNG exports due to maintenance, Qatar’s statistics authority said in a report.
In the first nine months of 2012, real GDP grew by 5.8 per cent over the same period of 2011 while nominal growth was put at 13.5 per cent.
The report showed the manufacturing sector soared by nearly 13.6 per cent in the third quarter over the same period of 2011 and the report attributed
the surge to expansion in the production of petrochemicals and other products.
“The high growth rate in this sector has resulted from the higher production reported in petrochemicals, fertilizer, aluminum and gas to liquids (GTL) products,” it said.
“As for the slowdown in the hydrocarbon sector, it was primarily due to the shutdown in some LNG trains for necessary maintenance.”
A breakdown showed Q/Q growth stood at 9.4 per cent in transport and communications in the third quarter of 2012, 9.4 per cent in construction, 8.1 per cent in trade and, restaurants and hotels, eight per cent in domestic services, 6.3 per cent in electricity and water and 4.7 per cent in finance, insurance and real estate. The report showed there was a 9.2 per cent growth in import duties.
In current prices, the hydrocarbon sector was down by 0.9 per cent manufacturing jumped by nearly 19.9 per cent. Growth was also as high as 28 per cent in government services, 22.3 per cent in domestic services, 15.4 per cent in construction, and 13.4 per cent each in transport and communications and in social services.
Qatar’s economy has recorded one of the highest growth rates over the past 10 years because of strong oil prices and a rapid increase in its LNG sales. Growth is projected to have sharply slowed down in 2012 mainly due to the stabilizing gas exports.
According to the Saudi American Bank, Qatar’s GDP is expected to have grown by around five per cent in 2012 after recording double digit growth in the previous years. The report showed GDP raced by 16.3 per cent in 2010 and 13.5 per cent in 2011.
Qatar, ranked the world’s richest nation in 2011, became the top LNG exporter after the completion of mega projects in 2010 to tap its mammoth offshore North Field, the world’s largest reservoir of unassociated gas, estimated at 25 trillion cubic metres.
Sitting atop the world’s third largest gas resources, Qatar now pumps around 77 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year, fetching it as much as its oil income.