Reuters DUBAI Qatar's revenue surged to a record high in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, according to Qatar Central Bank data, said Qatar Tribune.
Revenue grew to QR117.8 billion in the first quarter, nearly the same amount as the revenue collected in the whole first half of last year, from a mere QR17.1 billion a year ago. At the same time, government spending fell 6.6 percent from a year ago to QR38.8 billion ($10.7 billion) in the first quarter.
The central bank did not say why the spending had dropped but it could be that work on some large infrastructure projects in the country has been divided into phases to reduce the risk of waste or overcapacity. The budget surplus in April-June was QR79 billion, compared with a deficit of QR24.4 billion a year earlier, the data showed. The surplus was equivalent to 41.7 percent of gross domestic product.
The revenue increase seemed at least partly due to the fact that state energy giant Qatar Petroleum started transferring its entire financial surplus to the government in 2013. Previously, a part went to the government as investment income, part was retained on the company's balance sheet, and part was used to provide fresh capital to the Qatar Investment Authority. Meanwhile, Qatar's bank credit growth accelerated to a six-month high of 12.4 percent year-on-year in September from 9 percent in the previous month, according to central bank data.
Money supply (M2) growth eased to 8.6 percent from a five-month high of 13.5 percent at the end of August. Non-resident deposits jumped 20.1 percent on an annual basis after a year of consecutive declines.