Qatar’s fiscal balance as a percentage of GDP is set to rise to 3.4% in 2023 from an estimated -0.2% this year, FocusEconomics has said in its latest country report.
The country’s public debt will fall gradually until 2023, the researcher said and estimated it to be at 55.7% this year, 55.9% in 2020, 55% (2021), 53.5% (2022) and 51.9% in 2023.
The current account balance (as a percentage of the country’s GDP) will be 8.5% in 2023 compared with 7.2% in 2019.
Qatar’s merchandise trade balance, FocusEconomics said, will be $55.6bn in 2023. This year, it will account for $48.1bn.
Qatar’s gross domestic product is expected to reach $244bn by 2023, it said. By the year-end, Qatar’s GDP will total $200bn.
Qatar’s economic growth in terms of nominal GDP will reach 5% in 2023 from 4.1% by the year-end.
The report has estimated Qatar’s international reserves at $35.9bn in 2023 and $31.6bn this year.
The international reserves will cover nine months of imports in 2023 as against 11 months this year, FocusEconomics said.
The country’s inflation, the report noted, will be 2% in 2023 and 1.4% this year.
Qatar’s unemployment rate (as a percentage of active population) will remain a meagre 0.2% in 2023, unchanged from this year.
The country’s growth, FocusEconomics said, “should accelerate” this year, supported by higher hydrocarbon production and infrastructure projects related to the 2022 World Cup.
FocusEconomics panellists see growth of 2.7% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate, and 2.9% in 2020.
Moving to the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data for the first two months suggests the non-oil private sector expanded at a “moderate” pace in the quarter.
On the upside, private sector credit growth year-on-year was “solid” in the first two months, which, coupled with subdued price pressures, should have supported consumer spending, the report said.
However, the external sector was “soft”, with exports declining in January and February, it noted.
According to FocusEconomics, Qatar raising $12bn on March 6 this year in an “oversubscribed” bond sale, indicated “strong investor sentiment” despite ongoing regional political tension.
Consumer prices fell 1.6% year-on-year in February, matching January’s figure. Soft food prices and lower housing costs have muted price pressures in recent months.
Going forward, price pressures are expected to pick up on stronger economic activity, it said.
FocusEconomics panellists expect inflation to average 1.4% in 2019 and 2.3% in 2020.