Qatar’s economy witnessed the highest annual real growth rate among the Arab countries with a nine percent increase in 2009 thanks to expansions in oil and gas investments, infrastructure projects and construction and industrial ventures.
The UAE-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) said in a report released recently that the economic growth in Qatar was the highest in the Arab block.
According to the report, Qatar’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures the rate of inflation, dropped to a low level of five percent in 2009 from a record high of 15 percent in the previous year.
The decline in the cost of living was due to a substantial drop in rentals, said the AMF report. It added that the public budget showed a surplus of 11.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009 which was closer to the rates achieved in the preceding two years.
The report showed that growth of Domestic Supply of money was 14.6 percent last year while liabilities on private sector grew by only seven percent as compared to an average of 40 percent to 60 percent in the preceding five years reflecting a more prudent trend in extending credit facilities by financial institutions to the private sector.
The report said that Qatari total exports dropped by 36.2 percent to $52.2bn while imports stood proportionally stable at $34.3bn compared to imports amounting to $34.8bn in 2008.
This is reflected in the net current account surplus dropping to $13bn only, or equivalent to 15 percent of the GDP compared to $33.1bn, or 33 percent of the GDP in 2008.
Regarding the listed companies in Doha Stock Market (DSM), the report said that number of listed companies increased to 43 by end of the third Quarter of 2009 and that their profits totalled to QR20.2bn from QR23.8bn or a reduction of 15.1 percent compared to 2008. The DSM management intends to amend the market index to take into consideration the market developments and levels of liquidity.
Regarding the performance of the Qatari bourse (Qatar Exchange), the index of Arab Monetary Fund QE showed that it grew 3.9 percent in 2009 over the previous year.
Market capitalisation of the bourse grew 14.7 percent to $87.9bn last year from $76.6bn in 2008, said the AMF report.