Qatar economy: Slowdown – Non-hydrocarbon sectors take over

Despite the travails of the global economy, Qatar has consistently registered double-digit real GDP growth in the past five years. However, with most of the state’s capital-intensive giant energy projects completed, the era of such exceptional growth is over for now. In the second quarter of 2012 growth slipped to 5% year on year, sharply down from the double-digit expansion enjoyed in 2011, according to figures released by the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA) on September 30th. Growth will persist in single digits and will now rely on the non-oil and -gas sector.

During the second quarter the hydrocarbons sector edged up by just 0.8% year on year, but the smaller non-hydrocarbons sector posted strong growth of 8.5%. According to the QSA, the share of oil and gas in overall GDP shrank to 43.4% in the second quarter of 2012, compared with 58% in 2011. Meanwhile, the share of non-hydrocarbons rose to 56.2%, from 42% in 2011.

Within the non-hydrocarbons segment, the sectors recording the strongest growth were financial services (12.1%), transport and communications (18%), construction (10%) and manufacturing (6%), which mostly includes petrochemicals, oil refining, steel and cement.

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