QCB foreign exchange reserves top $47.4bn in October: QNB
December 20 2018 08:11 PM

The Qatar Central Bank’s foreign exchange reserves topped $47.4bn in October, a 2% increase month-on-month, a new report by QNB has shown. This, QNB said, equates to 8.5 months of import cover.

The country’s oil production rose to 609,000 bpd in October from 570,000 bpd in September, QNB said in its latest "Qatar Monthly Monitor."

Brent crude prices, however, dropped to average $65.9 for a barrel in November, it said.

QNB data showed Qatar’s trade balance surplus grew 129.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) and stood at $5.2bn in October.

The fiscal account surplus widened to 3.5% of GDP in the second quarter due to higher oil prices. The current account surplus widened while net capital and financial flows were positive in Q2.

November saw an increase in local banks’ assets and credit, while deposit growth fell marginally, according to QNB.

Banks' asset growth was 4.6% y-o-y in November while credit growth stood at 2.1%, QNB said.

Private sector and public sector and non-resident deposits declined 0.7%, 2.4% and 1.7% respectively m-o-m in November, the report showed.

Interbank rates went slightly up following global monetary tightening.

Qatar's sovereign 5-year CDS spreads remained stable at around 75 bps (0.75%), while QIBOR and LIBOR three-month interest rates converged further.

Broad money supply (M2) declined 1.2% year-on-year in October, the report showed.

Money supply is defined as the total quantity of money circulating in the economy at a particular time. M2 is a key economic indicator used to forecast inflation.

Real GDP growth picked up in Q2, QNB said. Non-hydrocarbon GDP growth was a solid 6.1% y-o-y.

Booming construction output, up 15.3% y-o-y, remained the key driver of activity in the non-hydrocarbon sector. Manufacturing gained 14.1% y-o-y. CPI inflation was broadly flat in November, QNB said.

Manufacturing and hydrocarbon output were “stable” in October, while real estate price index signalled prices were stabilising.

The 5-star and 4-star hotel occupancy rates remained stable in October at 55% and 60% respectively.

Qatar’s population increased 2.8% y-o-y to stand at 2.76mn in November; women made up close to 25.5% of the population, QNB report said.

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