Qatar’s exports grew 46% year-on-year (y-o-y) in July as a result of higher oil prices while imports grew 50% reflecting the low base in July 2017, QNB said in its latest ‘Qatar Monthly Monitor’.
The country’s current account surplus, according to QNB, widened to 7.3% of GDP in the first quarter (Q1), while the financial account deficit narrowed.
The fiscal account turned to a surplus in Q1 as revenue rose in line with higher oil prices.
Qatar’s foreign exchange reserves with the Qatar Central Bank rose 0.9% month-on-month to reach $45.2bn in June, equating to seven months of import cover, the monthly monitor showed.
Booming construction output, which was up 17.2% y-o-y, remained the key driver of activity in the non-hydrocarbon sector. Manufacturing gained 3% y-o-y, QNB said.
Industrial production rose 4.7% y-o-y in May from 1.4% the previous month.
Qatar’s CPI Inflation was broadly flat at 0.2% year-on-year in July, while food inflation dropped due to the base effect from last year. The month also saw deflation in housing costs getting moderated.
Qatar’s real GDP growth slowed in Q1, thanks to a further fall in the hydrocarbon output. Non-hydrocarbon GDP growth was a solid 4.9% year-on-year.
Qatar’s bank assets grew 6.6% year-on-year in June, QNB said. Bank deposits grew 6.2% year-on-year in June, while credit growth stood at 6% year-on-year that month.
Deposits from the non-resident and public sector grew 7.1% and 8.9% month-on-month respectively in June, while the private sector declined 0.7% month-on-month.
According to the monthly monitor, the broad money supply (M2) grew by 10.2% year-on-year in June, while interbank rates remained steady despite higher US short-term rates.
Brent crude prices slipped to an average of $75 for a barrel in July, QNB data showed. Qatar’s oil production rose to 601,000 bpd in May from 578,000 bpd in the earlier month.
Five-star and 4-star hotel occupancy rates dipped slightly in July to 55% and 60% respectively, QNB said.
Qatar’s population increased 0.9% year-on-year to 2.45mn in July and according to official data women made up nearly 22% of the population.
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