Mubasher: The Qatari economy has seen a positive year in 2018, while the annual growth rate is expected to reach 2.7% during the years, 2018, 2019, and 2020, compared to 1.6% in 2017, due to the growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector.
Doha is expected to achieve its first fiscal surplus in three years in 2018, which may hit 3.1% of the GCC country’s gross domestic product, according to the National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) Economic Update.
“Nevertheless, challenges remain, including continued dependence on the hydrocarbon sector, which is at the mercy of volatile energy prices, rising borrowing costs linked to tightening US monetary policy and regional geopolitical risks, with no sign yet of a resolution to the GCC boycott,” the report said.
Qatar’s non-hydrocarbon sector is expected to grow 4.1% and 4.8% year-on-year in 2019 and 2020, while inflation is forecast to average 0.3% in 2018, NBK’s data showed.
“Both CPI components were in negative growth territory in November 2018, falling by 2.6% y/y and 2.4%, respectively. [Average] Inflation should pick up slowly to 2.3% in 2020 (but to more than 3.5% if the VAT is introduced in 2020).”