Posted on August 27, 2016

Preliminary first-quarter gross domestic product data for Qatar, adjusted for inflation, has showed annual growth at its lowest level since at least 2011. Qatar's Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics said GDP rose by 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2016, 2.7 percent lower than the previous quarter.

The data, cited by Reuters, showed mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil and gas, shrank 3 percent year-on-year and decreased 2.5 percent quarter-on-quarter. The rest of the economy percent grew 5.5 percent from a year earlier but shrank 2.7 percent from the previous quarter. Qatar, the world's biggest liquefied natural gas exporter, is one of the richest of the Gulf states but like its neighbours, it has been pushed into austerity measures this year in an effort to stabilise its finances. In June, the ministry predicted Qatar's economy would grow 3.9 percent this year, down from a previous 4.3 percent forecast. It expects growth of 3.8 percent next year and 3.2 percent in 2018.

Earlier this year, Fitch Ratings said growth in Qatar's non-oil economy is forecast to slow this year to 6 percent from an estimated 8 percent last year. The ratings agency said in a statement that average non-hydrocarbon growth in Qatar has been 10 percent over the past five years. It said the slowdown will be a result of a less benign fiscal environment, where a contraction in current spending and a focus on fiscal efficiency leads to a slowdown of both private and public consumption growth.

source: Arabian Business