Qatar plans to boost government spending by 18 percent to 210.6 billion riyals ($57.8 billion) in the 2013-14 fiscal year that began Monday April 1, the QNA state news agency quoted Finance and Economy Minister Youssef Kamal as saying. The Emir of gas-rich Qatar approved a budget with revenues of 218.1 billion riyals and a planned surplus of 7.4 billion, well down from a surplus of 27.7 billion riyals it penciled in for the previous fiscal year, QNA said.
Kamal said in a statement carried by QNA that preparing the new budget was based on a number of considerations: “The first of which is that there are indications that the world economy is on its way to improvement, despite the fact that these expectations are marred with uncertainty.”
Qatar decided to keep the oil price that its budgets assume unchanged at $65 per barrel, Kamal said. Brent crude oil is currently well above $100.
Economic growth in the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas is expected to be more than 4 percent this year, driven by the nonhydrocarbon sector, especially services and construction, Kamal said.
Qatar’s state budget leaped into a large surplus of 94.6 billion riyals in the July-September period, the second quarter of its 2012-13 fiscal year, equivalent to 53.9 percent of gross domestic product in that period, preliminary central bank data show.