Qatar bucks global trend; GDP up 44pc


 Provisional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates for the last quarter (Q4) of 2008 and those of the whole year released by the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA) suggest.

For the entire year of 2008, nominal GDP was up by an incredible 44 percent to QR372.4bn, as compared to QR258.6bn in 2007.

The QSA said that in seasonally unadjusted terms, however, at current prices the GDP in the fourth quarter of last year was 23.2 percent lower than in the third quarter (Q3).

The main reason for the decrease was a 31.1 percent decline in the value of output from the mining and quarrying sector which is dominated by oil and gas related activities.

Major factors affecting the oil and gas sector were a 55 percent fall in the average price of crude in the international markets between the third and fourth quarters and a similar decrease of condensate prices.

Oil production was also down in Q4. Offsetting the steady increase in the LNG (liquefied natural gas) output, the vibrant natural gas sector was affected by a significant drop in condensate prices, leading to an overall decrease of 8.3 percent as compared to the previous quarter (Q3).

In 2008 as a whole, the output of the mining and quarrying sector was up 56.8 percent compared to 2007, with a growing contribution from the LNG industry.

The manufacturing sector dipped sharply in the fourth quarter by 30.4 percent. Nevertheless, for 2008 as a whole it grew by 32.4 percent over 2007. Downstream hydrocarbon-related activities included in the manufacturing sector, were also affected by a significant downturn in prices.

The construction sector grew by an estimated 5.2 percent compared to the fourth and third quarters of 2008, and by 24.1 percent on an annual basis.

The electricity, gas and water supply sector declined slightly by 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter as compared to the third quarter, due largely to a normal seasonal decline in demand, but was up by 26 percent on an annual basis.

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