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Qatar's economy resilient despite siege, says report

Qatar's economy resilient despite siege, says report


Satyendra Pathak
Doha
Qatar's economy is showing resilience this year despite the ongoing embargo imposed by some neighbouring countries, FocusEconomics has said in its latest report.
A leading provider of economic analysis and forecasts for 127 countries, FocusEconomics has said in the report that non-residential central bank deposits were fairly stable in January after rising in December for the first time since last April, while recent bond and loan placements by the Qatar National Bank demonstrated foreign investors' appetite for Qatari assets.
Qatar's exports surged in January thanks to the hydrocarbon sector, with the trade surplus up over 50 percent year-on-year, while industrial production improved in December after two consecutive monthly contractions, the report said.
Supported by an extensive global network of analysts, the FocusEconomics report said that Qatar's housing market appeared to have stabilised in December following price falls witnessed in the June November period.
According to the report, the Qatari economy should gain traction in 2018 thanks to stronger fixed investment aided by ongoing preparations for the 2022 Fifa World Cup and a healthy global growth.
FocusEconomics panelists have forecast growth of 2.9 percent in 2018, unchanged from last month's projection, and 2.7 percent in 2019.
Inflation in Qatar rose from 0.6 percent in December to 0.9 percent in January, the report said.
Price pressures should increase going forward on the likely introduction of value added tax (VAT) and excise taxes, although both are currently postponed, the report said.
"Our panel sees inflation at 2.3 percent in 2018 and 2.7 percent in 2019," it said.
The GDP per capita in Qatar will also increase from $56,845 in 2017 to $58,993 in 2018, the report said.
According to the annual data released as part of the report, the overnight lending rate in the country would continue to rise from the current level and reach up to 5.94 percent by 2022.
According to the report, there would be a sustained increase in both imports and exports from Qatar. While the exports from the country are expected to rise up to $90.5 billion in 2022, the report said, imports would increase up to $40.9 billion in the same year.
The report has also said that Qatar's trade balance would rise from $37 billion in 2017 to $42.3 billion in 2018 and go up to $49.6 billion in 2022.
The report has also noted that Qatar's current account balance turned positive in 2017 and accounted for 1.9 percent of the total GDP. The percentage of current account balance would rise up to 3.5 percent in 2018, the report said.

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