A slowdown in the hydrocarbon sector sharply reduced Qatar’s real GDP growth after recording one of the highest growth rates in the world over the previous years, according to a key Saudi bank.
In the second quarter of 2012, the oil sector edged up by only around 0.8 per cent as maintenance of oiler oilfields in the Gulf country has adversely affected crude output, the Saudi American Bank Group (SAMBA) said in a study.
The study said the slowdown along with slower growth in the gas sector had prompted the Bank to revise down its previous forecasts of Qatar’s real GDP growth to around five per cent from just less than six per cent.
“Real growth in the oil and gas sector is now likely to be less than we initially expected.
Second quarter growth in the sector is reported at just 0.8 percent, and has caused us to revise down our overall real GDP projection for 2012 to 5 percent, with further adjustments to our 2013-2014 forecast,” it said.
But the report noted that the non-oil sector continues to perform well, expanding by an estimated at 8.5 percent in the second quarter led by strong performances in both industry and services. As expected construction activity has continued to revive and the sector grew by 10 percent in the second quarter, and is expected to remain a strong driver of the economy as infrastructure investment picks up, it added.
The report expected GDP growth to slightly pick up to around 5.2 per cent in 2013 and nearly 5.4 per cent in 2014.
It showed Qatar’s GDP raced by nearly 16.3 per cent in 2010 and 13.5 per cent in 2011 to maintain its position as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
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 tones of liquefied natural gas per year, fetching it as much as its oil income.