Gas superpower Qatar will again record a budget surplus in the current 2013-2014 fiscal year despite a large increase in public spending, a Saudi bank has said.
The Gulf country’s budget surplus is expected to end the fiscal year at 3.9 per cent of GDP to extend a large positive balance recorded over the past years because of high oil prices and a surge in gas exports, the Saudi American Bank group (Samba) said.
It showed capital spending is likely to have grown well above budget as the authorities look to make up for lost time on the infrastructure front.
“In recent years, disbursements on capital spending have consistently undershot budgeted spending, a situation that is set to change this year as the 2022 World Cup looms ever larger,” Samba said in its quarterly bulletin.
The fact that capital spending can double that of the 2012 outlay and a budget surplus still be in prospect is testament to the buoyancy of hydrocarbons earnings.”
Turning to economy, the report cited official estimates as showing real GDP growth stood at six per cent in the second quarter, slightly below the 6.1 per cent rate in the previous quarter.
It said growth was mainly fuelled by the non-hydrocarbon sector, which grew at 9.9 percent in the second quarter.
It showed the hydrocarbon sector expanded by only about one per cent in the second quarter as Qatar is keeping a self-imposed moratorium on further development of the North field gas reserves until 2015.