* Qatar’s exports are forecast to total nearly $95bn this year and $91.6bn in 2023
Qatar has been forecast to achieve a real GDP growth of 5.1% this year, which if realised would mark the "fastest pace" of growth since 2014, according to Emirates NBD.
The forecast growth would take the economy back above pre-pandemic 2019 levels, the regional banking group said in an economic update.
Growth in 2022 will be broad based, with robust expansions in both the hydrocarbons (3.5%) and non-hydrocarbons (6%) sectors, and while Emirates NBD anticipates that the headline expansion rate will slow next year, at 2.8% it will remain stronger than the 10-year average.
Daniel Richards, Mena Economist at Emirates NBD said the 6% growth forecast for the non-hydrocarbons sector would be the strongest in the GCC this year, driven by the ongoing recovery from the pandemic as activity gradually normalises, but also preparations for the FIFA World Cup and the event itself.
The Qatar Financial Centre PMI survey has reflected the surge in activity as final preparations for the major global event, which begins in November, come to a head, with the June headline reading of 67.5 marking a record for the index. This was up from 63.6 in May and marked an average of 62.2 over the year to date.
“Output, new orders and purchasing activity were all at record highs, largely shrugging off the inflationary pressures which drove input prices to accelerate at the fastest pace in 21 months.
“Aside from the preparations for the event which have helped support growth in key sectors such as construction for years, the World Cup will also drive a significant uptick in activity through the four weeks of games over November to December, with the tourism and hospitality sector set to be a key beneficiary,” Richards noted.
Last year, Qatar’s economy grew at 1.5%, following the -3.6% contraction seen in 2020.
Non-hydrocarbon sector (6%) will drive the economy this year, while the hydrocarbon sector has been forecast to grow at 3.5% in 2022, Emirates NBD said.
On the other hand, the hydrocarbon sector has been forecast as the main driver next year. In 2023, the hydrocarbon sector has been forecast to grow at 4% and non-hydrocarbon sector at 2%.
Next year’s real GDP growth, according to Emirates NBD will be 2.7%.
The country’s nominal GDP has been forecast to reach $244.6bn this year and $243.9bn in 2023.
Qatar’s exports are forecast to total nearly $95bn this year and $91.6bn in 2023.
Hydrocarbon commodities would account for chunk of Qatar’s exports ($81.7bn) this year and ($78.3bn) in 2023.
Emirates NBD forecasts the country’s imports to total $28.2bn this year and $29.6bn in 2024.
The country’s trade balance, therefore, has been forecast at $66.7bn this year and $62bn in 2023.
As a percentage of GDP, trade balance has been forecast at 27.3 this year and 25.4 in 2023.
Qatar’s current account balance has been forecast at $35bn in 2022 (14.3% of GDP) and $30.3bn in 2023 (12.4% of GDP).