Qatar growth may slow to 4.5pc in 2013
Doha, June 26, 2012
Qatar expects its economic growth will slow to 4.5 per cent in 2013, the weakest rate in a decade, but plans to continue heavy investment in its non-hydrocarbon sector, the state planning authority said yesterday.
The Opec member's oil and gas-reliant economy has been surging at a break-neck, double-digit pace for six years it has become the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, but it is expected to decelerate as the impact of two decades of gas output expansion fades.
The General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) sees inflation-adjusted GDP growth easing to 6.2 per cent in 2012 from 14 per cent last year.
The weakening global growth outlook and the euro zone debt crisis pose a risk to Qatar as they are affecting oil prices.
'While the euro bloc's problems may seem remote from Qatar, an unexpected weakening of oil prices risks reducing the resources available to the state,' the GSDP said.
Worsening global economy prospects have knocked crude oil prices down $35 from March highs to around $90 per barrel, near the lowest levels since December 2010.
After consultations, the International Monetary Fund said in January Qatar had financial cushions to mitigate risks.
'The 4.5 per cent rate is below our expectations, but is still fairly healthy,' said Paul Gamble, head of research at Jadwa Investment in Riyadh.-Reuters