• Infrastructure projects driving growth
  • Construction activty expanded by 11.4 per cent
  • Hydrocarbons drops 0.1 per cent

Qatar’s economy expanded by 4.1 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015 driven by growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector, according to the Development Planning & Statistics Ministry.

Business activities outside of oil and gas expanded by 8.9 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of the year with financial services, manufacturing and construction providing the largest contributions to growth.

The hydrocarbons sector contracted by 0.1 per cent in the first quarter due to lower crude output, as well as shutdowns and maintenance at gas facilities.

“Construction activity increased 11.4 per cent year-on-year as large-scale infrastructure projects remain the main driver of economic activity in Qatar,” said Doha-based Qatar National Bank (QNB) in a research note.

The population of Qatar grew by 10 per cent in the first quarter compared with the same period of 2014, driven by the influx of expatriate workers.

“Overall, we expect the diversification drive to continue and for the non-hydrocarbon sector to increase its share of GDP,” said QNB.

“Low inflation, healthy fiscal balances and significant current account surpluses should provide a conducive macroeconomic environment for the growth momentum to continue gathering steam,” added the bank.

Hydrocarbon production is expected to increase in the medium term as the Barzan gas project comes onstream. Crude and condensate production are expected to remain stable.

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