Qatar's budget balance (as a percentage of GDP) has been forecast at 15.4 this year and 10.6 in 2024, while country’s nominal GDP may scale up to $227.3bn this year and $228.8bn in 2024, an analysis has shown.
The country’s real GDP growth, Emirates NBD said, may be 2.7% this year and 3% in 2024. Current account (as a percentage of GDP) is expected to be 32.6% this year and 28.4% in 2024.
Consumer price inflation in Qatar has been forecast at 3% this year and 2.5% in 2024.
While oil and gas output growth is expected to slow this year, continued investment to boost production capacity in the GCC region should see the sector contribute positively to headline GDP again in 2023, Emirates NBD noted.
“The outlook for 2023 is more cautious given the weaker external environment, although the GCC will likely continue to outperform many developed economies in terms of GDP growth,” the regional banking group said.
It expects non-oil sector growth to slow to varying degrees across the GCC in 2023.
2022 was a stellar year for the GCC economies, which have grown at the fastest pace in almost a decade, underpinned by a double-digit increase in oil production and strong non-oil sector activity as well. Emirates NBD estimates GCC real GDP growth at 7.4% in 2022 on a nominal-GDP weighted basis, more than double the growth rate achieved in 2021.
It noted the budgets of major GCC oil producers are likely to remain in surplus this year, allowing governments to push ahead with significant investment in infrastructure and strategic sectors.
This, it said, will help to mitigate the impact of weaker external demand and slowing private sector consumption and investment. Consequently, the GCC is likely to be a relative outperformer in terms of growth this year.
The global economy, the analysis noted, is likely to see much slower growth this year as the aggressive monetary policy tightening of 2022 starts to bite.
However, it expects energy prices to remain elevated, with Brent oil averaging over $100 per barrel in 2023, as supply remains constrained and there is limited capacity to increase production within Opec+.
A faster than expected reopening of China’s economy could lead to stronger demand for oil and other commodities in the second half of 2023, Emirates NBD said.