Standard Chartered: Qatar economic growth forecasted to be highest in Gulf

Standard Chartered announced today its Africa and Middle East macroeconomic report for Q2 2023, which highlights that Qatar’s economic growth for 2023 is expected to be at 4.0%. Although somewhat lower than 4.75% in 2023, the report highlights that the temporary growth slowdown is “not worrisome”. Other Gulf markets are expected to grow between 2%-3.5% in 2023.

The report highlights that Qatar should be able to successfully leverage the World Cup to expand its tourism sector and its standing as a sporting hub. It is hosting 14 sporting events in 2023, including Formula 1. The authorities plan to raise the tourism sector’s GDP contribution to 12% by 2030 from 7% currently, by attracting 6 million visitors per year by 2030. Qatar is also working on a c.64% capacity increase at the North Field, to take natural gas output to 126mn tonnes by 2026 from 77mn currently; phase 1 (110mn tonnes) is due for completion by 2025. Investment in gas expansion is likely to support activity in other sectors, including private-sector credit growth, which accelerated to 17% y/y in January from high single digits throughout 2022.

Commenting on the report, Muhannad Mukahall, CEO and Head of Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking, Qatar, Standard Chartered said: “With increased levels of uncertainty across the globe, no market will be immune to economic headwinds. That said, the data shows us that Qatar is well-placed to be resilient to these challenges.”

The report also addresses other areas including Qatar’s FX reserves, and some of the risks faced by Qatar’s economy and banking sector. The Africa and Middle East Regional Focus report examines the economies of 24 countries, and is part of Standard Chartered’s Global Focus.