By Elsa Baxter
Qatar set to be 'star performer' among GCC economies, says Standard Charter boss.
Qatar’s economy will be the “star performer” among GCC countries this year, a senior economist has forecast.
Marios Maratheftis, Standard Chartered regional head of research, said the gas-rich nation will not see huge inflation over the next two years, regardless of changing oil prices.
“We expect a real GDP growth of 8.5 percent this year. Qatar has got the resources and it is wisely developing that,” Maratheftis told the Gulf Times.
He told the newspaper that Qatar’s rate of inflation would be “within single digits” this year and in 2010.
“It is difficult to see salaries going high during global financial crisis. Employees may be reluctant to ask for a pay rise, and even if they do, they are unlikely to get it in most cases,” Maratheftis said.
“Excessive liquidity is no longer a problem in the Gulf region. At best, there is adequate liquidity in the region.
“Rents across the Gulf have been dropping because of global recession and huge supplies entering the market.
“The situation holds good for Qatar as well. Food prices are now lower compared with last year, though they have recovered slightly of late.”
“If retailers face higher commodity costs, will they be able to pass on these to end consumers? In most countries across the globe, the answer is a ‘big no’. Though there may be some pricing power in Qatar because of the economy’s continued growth, I don’t think it will get out of control,” he said.
Qatar Statistics Authority says their GDP is DOWN 8% from just last quarter, and DOWN 17% on an annualized basis. Nice prediction, Marios!