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Qatar’s economic growth edges up to 5.7pc in Q2

Qatar… construction activity jumps 14.5 per cent

Qatar’s economic growth edges up to 5.7pc in Q2

DUBAI, 4 hours, 21 minutes ago

Qatar’s economic growth picked up slightly to 5.7 per cent on an annual basis in the second quarter of this year as robust non-oil activity outweighed a decline in the hydrocarbon sector, official data showed on Tuesday.

Real gross domestic product growth accelerated from a downwardly revised 5.4 per cent in January-March, which was the slowest rate since the third quarter of 2012. Previously, officials had put first-quarter growth at 6.2 per cent.

“The year-on-year growth in the second quarter 2014 is the result of double-digit rises seen mainly in electricity, construction, trading, hospitality and financial sectors, coupled with an over 11.3 per cent jump in the country’s population in the second quarter,” the Qatar Statistics Authority said.

Qatar’s population has been rising as the country hires more foreign workers to build big infrastructure projects.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, Qatar’s economic output dropped 0.2 per cent in the second quarter, the first quarterly fall in a year, compared with downwardly revised growth of 1.5 per cent in the first three months of 2014.

Activity in Qatar’s construction sector jumped 14.5 per cent from a year ago in April-June but it fell 2.9 per cent from the previous quarter.

The oil and gas sector, which accounts for more than half of the $202 billion economy, remained in the red, falling 2.2 per cent on an annual basis and 2.5 per cent from the previous quarter.

“The receding crude oil production and some major maintenance shutdowns in Natural Gas Liquids and Liquefied Natural Gases plants primarily explain the decline in the production volume of this sector,” the authority said.

Non-oil growth is likely to stay strong this year as the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter plans to spend some $210 billion on building infrastructure ahead of hosting the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.

In June, Doha raised its 2014 GDP growth forecast sharply to 6.3 per cent from the previous 4.6 per cent, well above growth rates of fellow Gulf Arab oil exporters, citing robust domestic demand.

A Reuters poll of analysts this week forecast a 6.2 per cent expansion this year and 6.7 per cent in 2015. – Reuters

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