Qatar international reserves may scale up to $38.1bn in 2023: FocusEconomics
May 09 2019 09:38 PM
Qatar's economic growth is set accelerate this year, buttressed by higher hydrocarbon production, hi
Qatar's economic growth is set accelerate this year, buttressed by higher hydrocarbon production, higher oil prices and infrastructure projects related to the 2022 World Cup, according to FocusEconomics. PICTURE: Ram Chand

Qatar’s international reserves will scale up to $38.1bn in 2023 from $33.8bn this year, FocusEconomics has said in its latest country report.

The international reserves will cover 9.6 months of imports in 2023 as against 11.7 months this year, the researcher said.

Qatar’s fiscal balance as a percentage of GDP is set to rise to 4.5% in 2023 from an estimated 0.5% this year, FocusEconomics said.

The country’s public debt will fall gradually until 2023, the researcher said and estimated it to be at 53% this year, 50.8% (2020), 48% (2021), 46.4% (2022) and 44.9% (2023).

The current account balance (as a percentage of the country’s GDP) will be 7.1% in 2023 compared with 6.7% in 2019.

Qatar’s merchandise trade balance, FocusEconomics said, will be $56bn in 2023. This year, it will account for $49.4bn.

Qatar’s gross domestic product is expected to reach $242bn by 2023, it said. By the year-end, Qatar’s GDP may total $199bn.

Qatar’s economic growth in terms of nominal GDP will reach 5% in 2023 from 3.6% by the year-end.

The country’s inflation, the report noted, will be 2.1% in 2023 and 1% this year.

Qatar’s unemployment rate (as a percentage of active population) will remain a meagre 0.2% in 2023, unchanged from this year.

Qatar’s economy is likely to have accelerated in the first quarter of the year, following the “weakest” expansion in nearly a decade in fourth quarter (Q4) 2018.

The PMI for the non-energy private sector averaged higher in Q1 than in the previous quarter, with new business orders driving the expansion.

Moreover, industrial production “performed well” above Q4’s average in year-on-year terms in the first two months of the year on the back of robust dynamics in the mining and quarrying sector. Despite remaining at “relatively low” levels, Qatar’s real estate index grew throughout Q1, suggesting the real estate market is slowly stabilising.

In addition, private sector credit growth “grew steadily” in year-on-year terms in Q1, which, coupled with subdued price pressures, should have supported household spending.

The country’s economic growth should accelerate this year, buttressed by higher hydrocarbon production, higher oil prices and infrastructure projects related to the 2022 World Cup.

FocusEconomics panellists see growth of 2.6% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate, and 2.8% in 2020.

Consumer prices fell 1.2% year-on-year in March (-1.4% in February). Low food prices and a flailing housing market have muted price pressures in recent months.

“Going forward, price pressures will likely pick up on stronger economic activity. The possible introduction of VAT presents an upside risk to the inflation outlook,” FocusEconomics said.

FocusEconomics panellists expect inflation to average 1% in 2019 and 2.3% in 2020.



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