Qatar GDP rebounds in Q1, construction up

File - Migrant labourers work on a construction site on October 3, 2013 in Doha, Qatar. AFP/Karim Jaafar

DUBAI: Qatar’s economic growth rebounded to 6.2 percent on an annual basis in January-March after a slowdown in the final quarter of 2013 as a double-digit surge in construction activity helped offset a decline in hydrocarbons, data showed Monday.

Overall gross domestic product growth slowed to a downwardly revised 5.5 percent in the previous quarter due to a sharp fall in the hydrocarbon sector, which accounts for more than half the $202 billion economy. Other sectors continued to expand rapidly.

“The high growth in the first quarter of 2014 is the result of a double-digit rise seen mainly in construction, trading, hospitality and financial sectors coupled with over 9.2 percent jump in the country’s population,” the Qatar Statistics Authority said.

An expansion of Qatar’s gas facilities helped fuel breakneck GDP growth averaging 17 percent a year between 2006 and 2011, but the economy slowed to 6.2 percent in 2012 as the gas expansion ended and works on a raft of mega projects were slow to start. Growth picked up slightly to 6.5 percent last year.

On a quarterly basis, the OPEC member’s economic output growth quickened to 2.3 percent in the first quarter from a meager 0.6 percent in October-December, data showed.

Activity in Qatar’s construction sector soared 19.6 percent from a year ago in January-March, faster than a 13.6 percent rise in the whole last year, and 12.9 percent from the previous quarter, according to the preliminary estimates.

On the contrary, the decline in the oil and gas sector deepened marginally to 1.2 percent year-on-year from 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Its output rose 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter, however, after a 2.8 percent slump in October-December.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 01, 2014, on page 5.




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