According to the Qatar Statistics Authority, the State’s real GDP rose by 6.9% annually to reach US$ 22.7 billion in the first quarter of 2012, extending the steady growth seen in the past years on account of high public spending, strong oil prices and a surge in the Gulf country's gas exports.
A breakdown showed almost all oil and non-oil sectors recorded positive growth but three sectors, namely government services, transport and communications and trade/restaurant/hotels, emerged as the best performers, recording double-digit growth rates. In fact, the first reported an increase of 13.9% annually in the first quarter of 2012, the second progressed by 12.7% and the third by 11.4% over the aforementioned period of this year. The oil and gas sector expanded by about 4.6% while growth was estimated at 8.9% in electricity and water, 6.1% in construction, 5% in financial services, 4.3% in manufacturing and 4% in domestic services. Social service was the only sector to record a contraction of 0.7%.
In current prices, Qatar’s GDP increased by 24.8% to US$ 48.4 billion in the first quarter of 2012. Oil and gas rose by 30% while government services increased by nearly 45%. Growth was put at 21% in manufacturing, around 12.5% in trade, 10.8% in transport and communications, 9.4% in social services and 8.9% in electricity and water.
Qatar recorded one of the highest growth rates in the world over the past years because of high oil prices and a surge in its LNG exports following the completion of mega projects to tap its giant offshore North Gas field, home to nearly 25 trillion cubic meters of non-associated gas. Real GDP went up by around 20% in 2011 but it is expected to slow down to below 10% this year after LNG exports began to stabilize.
The Mena Weekly Monitor, Bank Audi