Qatar Downgrades Growth Forecast, But LNG Revenue Projection Looks Bullish

Qatar’s Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics has cut its GDP growth forecasts for 2016-18 and has raised the budget deficit for these three years, from its previous projections six months ago (MEES, 23 December 2015).

The ministry’s freshly-released Qatar Economic Outlook (QEO) 2016-18 projects that real GDP will rise by 3.9% in 2016, down from the December projection of +4.3%, while 2016’s projected budget deficit, the first in 15 years, is now expected to equate to 7.8% of nominal GDP (4.8%). For 2015 Qatar recorded a surplus of QR21.3bn ($5.85bn) equating to 3.5% of GDP, the report indicates.

Unsurprisingly, the report emphasizes the “sharper than anticipated decline in oil prices” as weighing on GDP. But while oil prices have been on an upwards trend since February, with 8 June’s $52.51/B for Brent the highest since 9 October, there remains a high likelihood that the next report will include further downwards revisions. (CONTINUED - 893 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

table Qatar: Key Official Economic Forecasts