Qatar’s government on Thursday raised its forecast for real gross domestic product growth in 2013 to 5.3 percent from 4.8 percent, citing changes to its expected output of oil and gas.
The General Secretariat for Development Planning predicted growth of 4.5 percent next year. In 2012, GDP rose 6.2 percent.
Pipeline gas production will rise this year and unscheduled shutdowns, which limited energy output in 2012, are unlikely to be repeated, the secretariat said in a report.
“In 2014, upstream oil and gas is expected to contract as output from maturing oil fields tapers off and gas production hits installed-capacity limits,” it said.
The government’s fiscal surplus in Qatar, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas, is expected to drop to 4.7 percent of GDP in 2014 from an upwardly revised 8.1 percent this year, the secretariat said. In its previous report last December, it had forecast a 2013 surplus of 5.4 percent.
“The overall surplus is expected to narrow in 2014 in the wake of the substantial increases in capital spending needed to keep Qatar’s capital projects on track,” it said.
Qatar plans to spend some $140 billion on infrastructure in the next decade, partly in preparation to host the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.
Inflation is expected to be 3.6 percent in both 2013 and 2014, up from 1.8 percent last year, the secretariat predicted.
“This forecast is consistent with somewhat higher inflation in the second half of 2013, but also anticipates that the accelerating inflationary trend seen since the second quarter of2012 will peter out by end-2013,” it said.