Analysis

Qatar’s Minister of Finance meets with the IMF & World Bank

Qatar’s Minister of Finance – Mr. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi – is leading Qatar’s delegation to the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund from April 12-14. The Qatari delegation’s participation in the Spring Meetings is set against a backdrop of Qatar’s strong 2019 growth forecast of 2.6% and fiscal performance that will see the country post a surplus this year. This is despite the global economy entering “synchronized slowdown” according to the latest update of a tracking index compiled by the Brookings Institution and the Financial Times.[1] The IMF also cut its global growth forecast from 3.5% to 3.3% for 2019. Investor confidence in Qatar’s economy was reinforced in March 2019, with a $12 billion issuance that was well oversubscribed by investors globally.

 

Qatar Economic Update:

– Qatar is forecast to post a fiscal surplus of $1.2 billion in 2019 — the first surplus in 4 years — supported mainly by higher hydrocarbon prices translating into stronger budgetary revenues.

– Qatar’s macroeconomic resilience allows it to enjoy high investment-grade credit ratings from the three international credit ratings, Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. Despite the uncertainty created by recent geopolitical conditions, all rating agencies have rated Qatar’s economic outlook as “stable”.

– The non-oil and gas sector account for 64% of the overall economy in 2018, with construction and manufacturing driving GDP growth.

– Qatar’s economy grew by 2.7% in 2018, outperforming the GCC average of 2.4%.

Non-hydrocarbon exports have grown to represent a more material element of Qatar’s export mix, currently at 13.9% of total exports. The government’s diversification agenda will continue to increase the non-hydrocarbon contribution to economic activity.

– Qatar’s crude oil prices increased by 32.9 % for the first three quarters of 2018 to average US$71.5/barrel compared to an average of US$53.8/barrel in 2017.

 

 

Qatar Key Economic Facts:

Metric
Qatar
Population (December 2018)
2.67 million
Long-Term Credit Ratings1
Moody’s Aa3 Stable
S&P AA- Stable
Fitch AA- Stable
Nominal GDP
US$ 166.9bn (2017)
US$ 142.5bn (9-Month 2018)
Nominal GDP per Capita
US$ 64,705 (2017)
Fiscal Balance
Surplus/(Deficit)
US$ 1.2bn Surplus (Forecast 2019)
Debt/GDP ratio
50.2% (September 2018)
Trade Balance
US$ 53bn Surplus (2018)

 

  1. Qatar is in the same rating horizon as the likes of Belgium, Taiwan, Macau and the Cayman Islands. AAA rated countries include (not limited to) Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore and the U.S.

 

[1] “Global economy entering “synchronised slowdown” Financial Times, April 7, 2019

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