Qatar’s economy is poised for a slowdown to 5% this year but will still top the other Gulf countries, the G5 and the global average, with inflation expected to “mildly harden”, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

In its latest report, the bank, however, found a variegated growth pattern among the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries, whose hydrocarbon wealth fill up their national exchequers and reserves.

Qatar’s economy is expected to grow by 5% this year and 4.9% in 2014 compared to 6.1% in 2012. In 2011, the domestic economy had grown by a huge 17.4%.

Qatar is projected to have the highest growth this year compared to the other GCC countries, the G5 (the US, the euro area, Japan, the UK and Canada) and the global average of 2.9% but below China (7.6%), Philippines (6.6%) and India (5.8%).

BoAML said Qatar’s consumer price index (CPI) inflation is expected to rise to 2% this year and 2.5% in 2014 against 1.5% in the previous year. In 2011, it was 1.9%. This compares better with the global average of 2.9% and 3.3% in 2013 and 2014.

The Gulf countries’ largest economy Saudi Arabia is expected to slowdown to 4.3% this year from 6.8% in the previous year but it is likely to witness higher growth of 4.9% in 2014. In 2011, the economy had expanded 8.5%.

Saudi Arabia’s inflation is projected to slowly make an upward movement from 4.1% in 2012 to 4.4% this year and 4.5% in 2014. In 2011, inflation was at 4.9%.

In the case of the UAE, its growth is expected to marginally slow down from 3.3% in 2012 to 3.2% this year after which to climb up to 3.3% in 2014. In 2011, the economy is estimated to have grown 4.9%.

The CPI inflation is expected to rise from 1% in 2012 to 1.3% this year and further to 1.5% in 2014. In 2011, the UAE inflation was estimated at 0.9%.

Kuwait is slated to witness a flat growth at 3% this year vis-à-vis 2012 and marginally improve to 3.1% in 2014. In 2011, its growth was 4.1%.

Inflation is expected to harden from 3.5% in 2012 to 4% this year but to fall to 3.5% next year. In 2011, its Kuwait inflation was 4.8%.

Oman’s economy is expected to remain flat at 3.3% from 2012 to 2014 while its growth was 4.2% in 2011.

Inflation is forecasted to increase from 3% in 2012 to 3.5% this year but only to recede to 3% in 2014. In 2011, inflation in Oman was 4.1%.

Bahrain is poised to make a steady gain with economy slated to grow from 2.2% in 2011, to 2.4% in 2012, 2.9% this year and further to 3.2% in 2014.

Inflation is expected to remain unchanged at 2% from 2012 to 2014 after having witnessed deflation to the tune of 0.4% in 2011.


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