Qatar economy set to expand on 'stronger' domestic, foreign demand
March 06 2021 06:12 PM

Qatar’s GDP may scale up to $201bn in 2025 from $161bn this year, researcher FocusEconomics has said in a report.

Next year, Qatar’s GDP is projected to reach $172bn, followed by $181bn in 2023 and $191bn in 2024.

According to FocusEconomics, the economy is set to expand this year on ‘stronger’ domestic and foreign demand. Easing tensions with Gulf neighbours—Egypt was the latest Arab nation to normalise relations with Qatar in late January—should also provide support.

‘However, volatile commodity prices, the potential extension of restrictions and possible delays in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout pose downside risks,’ FocusEconomics noted.

FocusEconomics panelists see a 2.8% rise in GDP in 2021, which is unchanged from January’s forecast, before growth of 3.6% in 2022.

Consumer prices fell 3.4% in in annual terms in December, down from the 2.9% decline in November. Prices are seen rising this year as activity recovers and thanks to a supportive base effect.

FocusEconomics panelists see consumer prices rising 0.9% in 2021, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2022, it sees inflation averaging 2.0%.

The researcher sees a ‘stable outlook’ for Qatar and noted, ‘Turning to 2021, the PMI rose in January, suggesting a strong start to the year. However, in early February the government announced measures to tame the rise in Covid-19 cases, consisting mainly of capacity restrictions at public venues: This will temper momentum in the remainder of the quarter.’

FocusEconomics estimates Qatar’s international reserves to total $37.6bn by 2024.

The country’s international reserves are projected at $34.3bn this year, $36bn (2022) and $36.8bn in 2023.

Qatar’s merchandise trade balance, which is the difference in value between imported and exported goods, is expected to reach $41.6bn in 2025, latest country forecast by FocusEconomics has shown.

This year, the country’s merchandise trade balance has been forecast to total $28.4bn followed by $30.5bn (2022), $33.9bn (2023), $37.6bn (2024) and $41.6bn (2025).

The report said Qatar’s fiscal balance as a percentage of GDP is set to rise to 3.1% in 2025 from an estimated -2.5% this year.

According to FocusEconomics, Qatar’s public debt (as a percentage of GDP) has been forecast at 67.2% this year.

This is expected to fall to 60.8% in 2025. Next year, Qatar’s public debt (as a percentage of GDP) has been forecast at 64.8%, 64.1% (2023) and 62.4% (2024).

GDP per capita, FocusEconomics said, has been estimated to reach $71,000 in 2025 from $57,463 this year.

GDP per capita next year will be $61,079, followed by $64,066 (2023) and $67,542 in 2024.

Qatar’s economic growth in terms of nominal GDP will reach 5.4% in 2025 from 8.3% by the year-end.

Next year, economic growth in terms of nominal GDP will be 6.5%, 5.2% (2023), and 5.7% (2024).

The current account balance (as a percentage of GDP) will be 3 in 2025 compared with -0.4 (2021), 1.9 (2022), 1.3 (2023) and 2.1 (2024).

The country’s inflation, the report noted, will be -0.9% this year, 2% (in both 2022 and 2023), 1.9% (2024) and 1.8% (2025).

Qatar’s unemployment rate (as a percentage of active population) will remain a meagre 0.2% until 2025, FocusEconomics said.


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