DOHA: Qatar National Bank Capital forecasts that Qatar’s nominal GDP per capita will rise to around $109,000 at purchasing power parity (PPP) by 2012 on the back of strong oil prices and increased output, according to QNB Capital’s upcoming "Qatar Economic Insight-September, 2011"reported.
Qatar became the richest country in the world in 2010 with the highest per capita income at $88,559 having overtaken Luxembourg,
Rising gas-related exports and high energy prices have been the main drivers of nominal GDP growth, according to the report.
The development of Qatar’s North Gas Field, liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and other gas-related products, such as gas to liquids, condensates and natural gas liquids (liquid hydrocarbons that are usually extracted from raw gas), have boosted the importance of the gas sector. Gas-related exports have risen from 38 percent of total exports in 2006 to a remarkable 60 percent in 2010.
Overall, the oil and gas sector accounted for 52 percent of GDP in 2010. LNG is largely sold through long-term supply contracts with some contracts having prices linked to crude oil. Oil prices are therefore a key driver of Qatar’s nominal GDP.
Qatari crude oil prices rose by 25 percent from an average of $62/barrel in 2009 to an average of $78/barrel in 2010. This, combined with further LNG expansion, was instrumental in the 30 percent increase in nominal GDP in 2010, according to QNB Capital.
Qatar’s strong economic growth continued in the first quarter of 2011. Nominal GDP rose by 12 percent from QR126bn ($35bn) in the fourth quarter of 2010 to QR142bn ($39bn) in the first quarter of 2011. In the first eight months of 2011, Qatari crude oil prices (the average of Dukhan and marine crude) have averaged $108 per barrel.
QNB Capital expects oil prices to be slightly lower in the remainder of the year as global economic weakness negatively impacts demand. Therefore, Qatari crude is forecast to average $105 per barrel over 2011, falling to $100 per barrel in 2012.
Based on these strong oil prices and a substantial increase in natural gas production, nominal GDP is expected to grow by 36 percent in 2011 to $173bn.
In 2012, a further increase in oil and gas production and growth in the non-oil and gas economy will more than offset softer oil prices, boosting GDP a further 14 percent to reach $197bn. QNB Capital forecasts that the oil and gas sector will grow by 53 percent in 2011 to $101bn and by 14 percent to $115bn in 2012.
The non-oil and gas sector will, in turn, be boosted by high revenues flowing into the economy from the oil and gas sector and by committed development spending by the government.
This will lead to a significant 17 percent growth in the non-oil and gas sector in 2011 and by 14 percent in 2012. The financial services, insurance and real estate sector is expected to expand by 15 percent in 2011 to $20bn and by 22 percent in 2012 to $24bn due to public and private investment in major projects.
Manufacturing sector is expected to grow by 26 percent to $17bn in 2011 and by 11 percent to $19bn in 2012 due to higher prices and additional output from new petrochemicals, metals and fertilizer facilities.
All these factors will contribute to pushing nominal GDP per capita at market exchange rates in Qatar over the $100,000 mark by 2012.(QNA)