(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) released Sunday the first Qatar Economic Outlook (QEO) 2012 2013 Update, with a marginal upward revision. The report said that Qatar's GDP will see an expected growth of 6.3% in 2012.
GSDP's first report in June expected the growth to reach 6.2% in 2012 and 4.5% in 2013. GSDP has revised up its forecast for GDP growth to 4.8% in 2013 in today's report. It attributed the increase to an anticipated robust growth in the non-oil and gas sector. "GSDP now pegs nominal GDP to grow by 14.7% in 2012, with elevated oil prices lifting the estimate by over 3 percentage points from the June forecast," GSDP said on its website.
Commenting on the report, Secretary General of GSDP Dr Saleh Al Nabit said that "the drivers of growth in the economy now firmly located in the non-oil and gas economy." He added that "the share of the non-oil and gas economy in total output steadily rise."
On inflation, the report said it remained "mild" at 2% in 2012. It expected that inflation could rise however to 3.5% with a rise in residential rents. The Update reaffirmed that the risks faced by Qatar's economy are still mainly external. Problems in the Eurozone continue to pose a wider threat.
Al Nabit said it was "pleasing to see that growth has been broad based, with strong expansion across a range of economic activities, including finance, communications and construction." He added that expected growth in the non-oil sector of 9.3 and 9.6 in 2012 and 2013 respectively. He said that the figures will help the Qatari economy, in nominal terms, reach under 200 billion by this year's-end.
The report said that the marginal decline in the production of oil (includes crude oil, condensates and natural gas liquids) is set to continue in the short term. The flat gas production is set to continue as well until the Barzan project comes on line, scheduled for 2014. Crude oil production will as yields from maturing fields decrease. However, the report said that expected investments in the further development of existing fields (and in Dukhan in particular) could lift future oil output. The report maintained however that the impact will not be noticeable until beyond 2015.
On other sectors, the report said that services will be expected to contribute more than 60% of the total growth of the Qatari economy by the end of 2013. Its share of the total real GDP would rise to 32.5% as a result. The report said that the share of industry (manufacturing, construction and utilities) in total output is set to rise from 18.9% projected in 2012 to 19.8% in 2013.
Qatar is again at a strong position in terms of its fiscal surplus for 2013. The overall surplus now stands at 5.4% of the year s forecast nominal GDP, up from June's forecast of 4.8%. The main reason for the reports upward revision in the gas prices forecast for 2013 was Japan's decision to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy in favor of gas.
On domestic risks to Qatari economy, the biggest challenge is the disruption to business and economic life presented by large infrastructure works such as rail, roads and drainage. The report mentioned that these risks were being addressed through new planning and institutional coordination initiatives. "These measures success will be vital to ensuring that new infrastructure assets are delivered on time and that they generate promised benefits," the report read.
The State of Qatar is expected to invest more than 10% of its GDP in infra-structure projects.