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Mon 27 Mar 2017 02:35 PM

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Qatar's foreign trade surplus soars 74% in February

Gulf state's surplus rises to $3.38bn, according to Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics data

Qatar's foreign trade surplus soars 74% in February

Qatar's February trade surplus increased by 74 percent from a year earlier, according to data released by the country's Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics.

The country's surplus rose to QR12.3 billion ($3,38 billion) in January from QR10.8 billion in December and up from QR7 billion in January 2016.

Exports of petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons climbed 18.9 percent to QR12.20 billion.

Pressure on Qatar's state finances is easing because of higher oil prices and the government may not need to issue an international bond this year, but it is still seeking ways to save money, finance minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi said last month.

Qatar's 2017 budget, announced in mid-December, projected its deficit would shrink to QR28.3 billion riyals from QR46.5 billion planned for 2016. Since the 2017 budget assumed an average oil price of about $45, the deficit is now close to disappearing, Emadi said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that Qatar's real GDP growth is expected to reach 3.4 percent in 2017 from about 2.7 percent in 2016 as the country effectively adjusts to the new reality of sustained lower energy prices.

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