Qatar’s economy to slow down

Real GDP growth to fall to single digit after galloping in past

Qatar’s economy is expected to slow down to a single digit growth rate through 2012-2014 after racing by at least 13 per cent in the previous years because of a surge in the country’s gas exports, according to a key Saudi bank.

The real GDP of the world’s top LNG supplier galloped by nearly 18.8 per cent in 2011 and growth is projected to dive to around 6.9 per cent in 2012 and continue to slackening to reach 4.8 per cent in 2013 and 4.6 per cent in 2014.

The slowdown will be caused mainly by a sharp fall in growth in the hydrocarbon sector after the Gulf nation completed mega projects to tap its mammoth offshore North Field, the world’s largest single reservoir of non-associated gas.

Figures by National Commercial Bank (NCB), Saudi Arabia’s largest bank, showed the hydrocarbon sector rocketed by around 31.1 per cent in 2011 and growth is forecast to slow down to about 5.3 per cent in
2012 before diving to 0.8 per cent in 2013 and zero growth in 2014.

“Qatar remains convincingly the regional star performer in terms of economic growth, although it is clear that the pace is moderating from the two-digit growth of recent years as the natural gas-LNG investment pipeline in the country matures,” NCB said in a study sent to Emirates 24/7.

“Nonetheless, efforts are underway to foster growth in the non-oil area, partly through preparations for the upcoming soccer World Cup in 2022,” it added, noting that the Qatar Financial Center recently suggested that Qatar’s project pipeline can increase from $63 billion to $108 billion in the coming years.

It said that the Qatari government alone is planning investments of nearly $125 billion in construction and energy projects over the next six years.

Qatar is also planning to reverse a decline in its oil output which has fallen to 730,000 bpd with exports dropping to about 630,000 bpd.

It quoted a government report as saying that Qatar’s plan is to redevelop the country’s three oil fields with a view to boosting capacity above one mbd.

The study projected Qatar’s non-oil sector growth at around 8.8 per cent in 2012 compared with nine per cent in 2011. It expected growth to remain strong at around 8.5 per cent in 2013 and 8.9 per cent in 2014.

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