In a clear sign of increasing economic activities in the country, Qatar’s banking sector has seen a 3.5% growth in credit year-on-year in July.
According to QNB, bank deposits have seen a 5.3% growth year-on-year in July.
Deposits from non-residents and private sector grew 6.1% and 2.2% m/m respectively in July, QNB said in its ‘Qatar Monthly Monitor – September’ released on Wednesday.
However, public sector deposits with local banks have seen a 6.9% decline month-on-month in July.
The report showed that broad money supply (M2) grew 10.3% year-on-year in the country in July.
Key inter-bank rates continued to hold steady, while Qatar’s 5-year credit default swap (CDS) spread edged down to 82bp; its lowest since March, ‘Qatar Monthly Monitor’ showed.
Favourable oil prices have had a positive impact on Qatar’s fiscal and external balances, according to the QNB report.
The country’s fiscal account turned to a surplus in the first quarter (Q1) as revenue rose in line with higher oil prices.
Qatar’s current account surplus widened to 7.3% of GDP in the first quarter while the financial account deficit narrowed.
Exports grew 45.3% year-on-year in July as a result of higher oil prices, while imports surged 50% year-on-year due to the base effect from last year.
Foreign exchange reserves held by Qatar Central Bank (QCB) rose 0.3% month-on-month to reach $45.4bn in July, equating to seven months of import cover.
Brent crude prices slipped to an average of $73.8/barrel in August, the report said and noted Qatar’s oil production rose to 622,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June from 601,000 bpd in the previous month.
In the first quarter of the year, the real GDP growth slowed in Q1 thanks to a further fall in hydrocarbon output. Non-hydrocarbon GDP growth was a solid 4.9%, year-on-year.
Booming construction output, up 17.2% year-on-year, remained the key driver of activity in the non-hydrocarbon sector, QNB said.
Manufacturing gained 3% year-on-year in the first quarter. However, the real estate price index slipped back further in June.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation held broadly steady at 0.6% year-on-year in August, it said.
Qatar’s population increased 4.7% year-on-year to stand at 2.56mn in August; women made up close to 24.6% of the population.
In the hospitality sector, 5-star and 4-star hotel occupancy rates dipped slightly in July to stand at 55% and 60% respectively, according to ‘Qatar Monthly Monitor’.
But traditionally summer months have been a period of low-key activities in the country, especially in terms of tourist arrivals.