Qatar's economy will see declining growth in its gross domestic product (GDP) over the next few years as a result of the receding hydrocarbon production rates, a new report has said.
The Qatar Economic Outlook 2012, 2013, issued by the General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP), has forecast GDP growth of 6.2 percent this year.
The report also predicted that real GDP growth will moderate to 4.5 percent in 2013, adding that growth in the coming years will be supported by growth in non-hydrocarbon sectors, especially the manufacturing, petrochemical and construction sectors.
According to the report, those sectors will lead the future expansion of Qatar's economy with 9.2 percent growth.
It said construction, in particular, will grow at an average of 10 percent over the next two years, backed by a network of infrastructure investments as the Gulf state starts to build towards the 2022 World Cup.
Despite slowing growth, the study said the country would continue to see a budget surplus.
"What enhances the growth opportunities in Qatar is expectations of the continued high oil prices, which will support the power of external payments and the budget during these two years, despite large increases in current expenditure and investment plans of the State," the report said.
According to the report, Qatar will again post a sizeable fiscal surplus in 2012, despite large, planned increases in recurrent outlays on wages, salaries and pensions, as well as greater capital spending.
A surplus of 7.8 percent of nominal GDP is expected in 2012, falling to 4.8 percent in 2013 as hydrocarbon income stabilises and spending continues to grow.
Between 2012 and 2019, Qatar has planned infrastructure investments in the region of $150bn.
In the near term, it may well spend 10 percent of its GDP on infrastructure and total project disbursements, or about $35bn, according to the report.
Dr Saleh Al Nabit, secretary general of GSDP, said in a statement to Qatar News Agency, said the report indicated that the non-oil sectors would drive the GDP growth in the state, mainly the construction sector.
Concerning inflation, the report forecasts a modest pick-up over the rest of 2012.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.