Qatar GDP up 6.9% in Q1

Nominal GDP soars by 24.8% due to high oil prices and gas sales

Qatar’s real GDP swelled by around 6.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, extending a steady growth in the past years because of high public spending, strong oil prices and a surge in the Gulf country’s gas exports.

From QR76.8 billion (Dh77 billion) in the first quarter of 2011, real GDP grew to nearly QR82.09 billion (Dh83 billion) in the first quarter of this year, Qatar’s statistics authority (QSA) said in a report.

A breakdown showed almost all oil and non-oil sectors recorded positive growth but three sectors—government services, construction and transport and communications—emerged as star performers, recording double digit growth.

The report put growth in government services at 13.9 per cent while it stood at 12.7 per cent in transport and communications, and 11.4 per cent in construction.

The oil and gas sector expanded by about 4.6 per cent while growth was estimated at 8.9 per cent in electricity and water, five per cent in financial services, 4.3 per cent in manufacturing and four per cent in domestic services. Social service was the only sector to record negative growth at 0.7 per cent.

In current prices, Qatar’s GDP soared by 24.8 per cent to around QR176.07 billion (Dhj178 billion) in the first quarter of 2012 from nearly QR141.05 billion (Dh143 billion) in the first quarter of 2011, QSA figures showed.

Oil and gas jumped by 30 per cent while government services shot up by nearly 45 per cent. Growth was put at 21 per cent in manufacturing, around 12.5 per cent in trade, 10.8 per cent in transport and communications, 9.4 per cent in social services and 8.9 per cent in electricity and water.

Qatar has recorded one of the highest growth rates in the world over the past years because of high oil prices and a surge in its LNG exports following the completion of mega projects to tap its giant offshore North Gas field, home to nearly 25 trillion cubic metres of non-associated gas.

Real GDP shot up by around 20 per cent in 2011 but it is expected to slow down to below 10 per cent this year after LNG exports began to stabilize.

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