By Andy Sambidge
International Monetary Fund says Gulf state has weathered global crisis 'exceptionally well'
The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday that it expected Qatar's GDP to grow by 20 percent this year.
In a new report on the Gulf state, the IMF said Qatar had "weathered the global financial crisis exceptionally well".
The sizeable enhancement of liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity, large government support to the banking system, and increase in public spending helped sustain high growth rates through the global crisis, the report added.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rebounded to 16 percent in 2010 and is projected to accelerate to 20 percent in 2011, the IMF said.
Headline consumer price inflation was negative in 2010, reflecting a sharp fall in domestic rents, although non-rent prices have started to rise, it added.
"Headline consumer price inflation is projected at 4 percent over the medium term, as rents stabilise due to a gradual narrowing of the current excess capacity in real estate," the IMF said.
It said the banking system was "well capitalized and profitable". Profitability was 20 percent higher in the first three quarters of 2010, compared to the same period of 2009.
It concluded that the economic outlook remained positive, with the main downside risk being a sharp decline in hydrocarbon prices.