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Survey Says Non-Oil Sector Recovery Strong in Qatar

Qatar : 20 January 2011

There has been considerable economic recovery in Qatar throughout the third quarter of 2010 as nominal GDP grew 21.1 percent on an annual basis. A recent Dun & Bradstreet survey quoted a total of QR 111.25 billion for Q3 nominal GDP in 2010. This survey was done by D&B’s South Asia Middle East division along with the QFC Authority (or Qatar Financial Centre).

The nominal GDP figures rose 13.1 percent over the third quarter of 2010. This increase was mainly due to the mining and quarrying industry. The industrial sector outside of that industry rose 10.2 percent from the second quarter to the third quarter of 2010. Estimates from the IMF put real GDP figures for the non-oil sectors at 11.5 percent in the previous year, slowing down a little to reach 11 percent this year.

The Business Optimism Index for the first quarter of 2011 conducted a survey this past December in the midst of an economic climate that saw analysts expecting strong growth figures for the worldwide economy, close to 4 percent for 2011. That figure is a little slower than the growth seen in 2010.

The possibility of a recurring recession (some call it double dipped) is less likely now although various challenges linger. In Europe the debt crisis remains and as certain countries withdraw the stimulus packages that were in place or others extend their packages, insecurity also remains. Currency tensions continue and the banking sectors remain fragile in certain locations, which threaten the recovering economies there.

The dual speed growth that has been characteristic of the global economy continues. Emerging economic centres like China, Russia, Brazil and India will drive worldwide growth this coming year while the growth in developed nations such as the United Kingdom, the USA and those in Western Europe is expected to be modest.

According to the survey, the business community in Qatar is at a peak when considering the non-oil sectors as the optimism gets closer to the levels seen before the global crisis and recession. Sentiment is high with good news spreading across domestic and international economies, as well as the optimism caused by the upcoming FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar in 2022. Although there is still a fair amount of optimism in the hydrocarbon industry, it has decreased from the levels seen in the fourth quarter of 2010. That drop is due to the widespread belief that the price of oil and gas has leveled out and will not continue to push upward.

The widespread sentiment in Qatari businesses for the 2011 first quarter is reflective of the rapid economic growth. Rebounding prices for commodities, reviving global markets and recovering trade worldwide has boosted the confidence in businesses.

The cost of raw materials is still the largest concern for non-oil companies the first quarter of 2011. In the survey 43 percent of those who responded named this as their top concern. Access to skilled labourers was cited as the leading concern by 23 percent of the respondents. Financing availability was the top concern for 20 percent of those covered in the survey and 14 percent stated that the price of properties was their leading factor of impact.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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