Strong growth in non-hydrocarbons overcame the flat course in the hydrocarbon sector as Qatar reported an increase in real (inflation-adjusted) growth in the first quarter (Q1) of this year.
The country's GDP at constant prices (base year 2013) declined 1.4% against the fourth quarter of 2019 as growth in hydrocarbons was masked by a weakened non-oil sector, said the figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).
Market experts are of the view that the effects of the pandemic would start reflecting from the second quarter of this year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that Qatar's real growth this year would be subdued but will rebound in 2021.
Qatar’s expected 5% growth next year is in contrast to an estimated 4.3% decline this year on account of pandemic Covid-19, the IMF said, and the country’s forecasted real economic growth in 2021 will be better than the 4.7% averaged for the Middle East North Africa and Pakistan region.
On a yearly basis, the mining and quarrying sector treaded flat path; even as non-mining sector grew 1.4%. On a quarterly basis, the mining and quarrying sector saw 2.9% growth but the non-mining and quarrying sector declined 3.8% during the review period.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing registered growth of 0.6% and 8.1% year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2020 on a real basis.
Within non-hydrocarbons, the utilities (electricity, gas and water supply) witnessed a 25.8% yearly surge; followed by financial and insurance activities (8.6%) and construction (0.5%); while accommodation and food service declined 3.2%, followed by wholesale and retail trade (2.1%), manufacturing (1.8%), information and communication (0.7%), real estate (0.6%) and transport and storage (0.4%).
On a quarterly basis, the accommodation and food services sector is estimated to have plummeted 20.9%, followed by wholesale and retail trade (18.1%), the utilities (13.5%), real estate (8.2%), manufacturing (8.1%) and finance and insurance (5.3%); while information and communication gained 6.3%, construction (2.8%) and transport and storage (0.1%).
On a nominal basis (at current prices), Qatar's GDP is estimated to have declined 5.5% year-on-year and 3.7% quarter-on-quarter at the end of Q1, 2020.
The mining and quarrying sector saw 15.5% and 5.4% shrinkage year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter respectively during Q1, 2020; whereas the non-mining saw a marginal 0.6% jump on a yearly basis, even as it declined 2.8% on a quarterly basis.
In the case of agriculture, forestry and fishing, on a nominal basis, there was 2.3% and 8.8% expansion on yearly and quarterly basis respectively in Q1, 20.
Within non-mining, there was a stupendous 28.8% yearly surge in the case of utilities sector, 7.8% in financial and insurance activities, 6.4% in accommodation and food services and 1.4% in construction; whereas the manufacturing sector saw 8.5% decline, realty (4.9%), information and communication (2.6%), wholesale and retail trade (1.4%) and transport and storage (0.3%).
On a quarterly basis, the accommodation and food services sector is estimated to have slowed down 19.9%, wholesale and retail trade (18.5%), manufacturing (11.5%), real estate (9.4%), utilities (5%), and transport and storage (0.8%); whereas construction grew 6.5%, information and communication (5.9%) and financial and insurance (2.3%).
The import duties, on real terms, are estimated to have shrunk 12.7% year-on-year but was up 1.5% quarter-on-quarter at the end of Q1, 2020. On nominal terms, they reported 12.1% plunge on a yearly basis; while it was up 1% quarter-on-quarter during Q1, 2020.
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