Qatar’s growth slows to lowest rate in years
The latest official figures show that Qatar’s economy slowed down in the second quarter to its lowest rate since the global financial crisis.
This is believed by the economists to have been a result of the low oil prices and not the sanctions that Saudi Arabia imposed against the Persian Gulf state.
Figures show that Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, expanded just 0.6 percent from a year earlier in the April-June period – the slowest growth since the 2009-2010 crisis.
The main reason for the slowdown was the mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil and gas output; it shrank 2.7 percent from a year ago, Reuters reported.
The non-oil part of the economy grew 3.9 percent from a year earlier in April-June, slowing from 4.9 percent growth in the first quarter, and was flat compared with the previous quarter.
That suggested the sanctions were having an impact, but not but not enough to push Qatar into recession, Reuters added.
The second-quarter figures suggested this disruption was not crippling for the economy, however. Manufacturing output was flat from a year earlier and grew 1.2 percent from the previous quarter.
The construction sector expanded 15.3 percent from a year ago although it shrank 4.1 percent from the previous quarter, indicating that while some projects may have been slowed by temporary shortages of materials, Qatar’s building boom continues.
Saudi Arabia and its Arab satellite states of Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing Doha of sponsoring terrorism and destabilizing the region.
The Saudi-led bloc has also imposed sanctions against the tiny Persian Gulf country, including restrictions on Qatari aircraft using their airspace. Qatar’s only land border with Saudi Arabia has only been blocked as a result.