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Tue 11 Mar 2014 11:57 AM

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IMF predicts Qatar GDP to grow 6% in 2014

Fund said it expected commodity prices, including food, to decline, which should help reduce price pressures

IMF predicts Qatar GDP to grow 6% in 2014
\nChristine Lagarde, CEO of the International Monetary Fund (AFP/Getty Images)

Qatar’s gross domestic product is expected to grow about six percent in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which gave the state a positive short to medium-term outlook.

In its preliminary assessment of the 2014 Article IV Consultation mission to Qatar last month, the IMF also said it expected public investments to grow around 6-7 percent over the medium term, while the inflation rate has been pegged at 3 to 4 percent.

The IMF said it expected commodity prices, including food, to decline, which should help reduce price pressures from strong economic activity, the Qatar News Agency reported.

Among its other projections, it said it expected the public debt ratio to fall, though Qatar’s budget could go into deficit over the medium term.

While Qatar’s recent macroeconomic performance remained strong, GDP growth had slowed from 13 percent in 2011 to 6.2 percent in 2012, it said, attributing the shift to the self-imposed moratorium on additional hydrocarbon production from the North Field.

It said a 10 percent expansion in the non-hydrocarbon sector, particularly construction, transport, communications, and finance kept the growth steady around 6 percent in 2013.

The IMF said spending on infrastructure and other capital projects remained unchanged, but capital expenditure picked up during the current fiscal year. It projected gross government debt in 2013-14 (ending March 2014) at 33 percent of GDP, with predictions it will record another surplus of 32 percent of its GDP in 2012.