Robust hydrocarbons and manufacturing sector helped Qatar's industrial producers' earnings register an about 10% growth year-on-year in December 2018, according to official estimates.

Qatar's producer price index (PPI), a measure of the average selling prices received by the domestic producers for their output, however, reported a 5.1% month-on-month fall during the review period, said the figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).

The PSA had released a new PPI series in late 2015. With a base of 2013, it draws on an updated sampling frame and new weights. The previous sampling frame dates from 2006, when the Qatari economy was much smaller than today and the range of products made domestically much narrower.

The PPI for mining, which carries the maximum weight of 72.7%, saw a 15.9% surge year-on-year in December 2018 on the back of a 16% increase in the price of crude petroleum and natural gas and 3.5% in stone, sand and clay.

The mining PPI, however, tanked 4.2% on a monthly basis as crude petroleum and natural gas prices shrank 4.4%, even as that of stone, sand and clay was up a marginal 0.1%.

The manufacturing sector, which has a weight of 26.8% in the PPI basket, witnessed a 1.3% yearly decline December last year on a 3.2% fall in the price of basic metals, 2.9% in refined petroleum products, 2.8% in cement and other non-metallic mineral products, 1.8% in beverages, 1.4% in rubber and plastics products and 0.3% in grain mill and other products.

Nevertheless, there was a 12.8% surge in the price of other chemical products and fibres, 10.3% in dairy products, 10.2% in paper and paper products, 5.5% in juices and 5.4% in basic chemicals.

The manufacturing sector PPI had seen a monthly 7.2% contraction in December 2018 as the price of refinery petroleum products fell 9.5%, basic chemicals 3.5%, basic metals 2.3%, rubber and plastics products 1.1%, beverages 0.6% and grain mill and other products 0.3%; while there was a 0.5% jump in the price of cement and other metallic products and 0.3% in beverages.

The utilities group, which has a mere 0.5% bearing on the PPI basket, saw its index expand 2.5% on yearly basis in December 2018 as water and electricity prices had risen 2.5% each.

The index had seen a 6.6% expansion month-on-month in December last year as there was a 10.6% growth in the price of electricity and 1.7% in water.

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