Qatar's strong fiscal position and relatively diversified economy will propel economic activity going forward in the country, FocusEconomics has said in its latest report.
According to The FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast Middle East and North Africa report for November, Qatar's economic growth will accelerate to 3.1 percent in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's projection.
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In 2019, the report said, Qatar's economy will expand by 2.9 percent. The country's economy will continue to grow further for the next three years rising up to 3.6 percent in 2022 to $210 billion on account of economic diversification, the report said.
"While Qatar's reserves plummeted in June and July, they recovered in August. Regardless of its reserve levels, Qatar could rely on its massive sovereign wealth fund to support the financial sector and the peg with the dollar," the report said.
The GDP per capita in Qatar will also increase from $59,211 in 2016 to $60,097 in 2018, the report said adding that it would continue to rise further and reach up to $74,549 in 2022, the report said.
Consumer prices decreased 0.5 percent in September, which followed August's 0.4 percent decline. The report expects inflation in the country to average 1.4 percent in 2017, lower than 2.8 percent witnessed last year.
The report, however, said that the annual average inflation in 2018 would rise up to 2.9 percent. It has also indicated that inflation would remain below 3 percent for the next five years.
According to the annual data released as part of the report, the overnight lending rate in the country would continue to rise from the current level and reach up to 6.15 percent by 2022. Qatari riyal will continue to be pegged at $3.64 in the years to come, the report said.
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There would be a sustained increase in both imports and exports from Qatar. While the exports from the country is expected to rise up to $92.8 billion in 2022, the report said, imports would increase up to $41.8 billion in the same year.
FocusEconomics, the leading provider of economic analysis, has also forecast that Qatar's trade balance would rise from $25.3 billion in 2016 to $34.7 billion in 2017 and go up to $51 billion in 2022. The report has also projected that Qatar's fiscal deficit would turn into fiscal surplus of 0.8 percent of the total GDP. The percentage of fiscal surplus would rise up to 2.8 percent in 2022, the report added.
By Satyendra Pathak
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