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Qatar leads GCC nations in infrastructure projects growth

Given, the large infrastructure projects and domestic consumption in Qatar, the nation will lead in terms of growth among GCC nations, growing at 6percent in 2014, said Alkhabeer Capital during an economic review.

According to latest IMF data, after the subdued growth of 3.7 percent last year, the GCC economy is likely to expand 4.4 percent in 2014, it said.

Recently announced budget estimate by the GCC nations for this year suggest emphasis on spending on sectors such as healthcare, education and infrastructure. Such measures are aimed at improving the local human capital and initiate development of high value-added activities in the long run.

Governments are targeting measures to improve human capital and initiate development of high value-added activities in the long run. There is greater diversification so that non-oil private sectors can also play a major role in supporting the economy.

UAE’s real GDP growth will remain steady and is unchanged in comparison to previous year, due to several mega projects in property sector and Dubai’s hosting of Expo 2020. However, IMF has also warned about the potential bubble risks in Dubai property market, and the UAE Central Bank is taking necessary measures to control these risks.

Saudi Arabia’s GDP will increase to 4.4 percent in real terms, with private non-oil sector likely to grow strong, underpinned by growth in infrastructure and mining sectors.

Kuwait is likely to lag other economies in the GCC, by growing by only 2.6 percent due to high oil dependency.

According to Alkhabeer Capital, the economic growth in GCC will continue to be influenced by oil prices and supply dynamics in oil industry. Growing supply from Iran and Iraq coupled with low dependence of the US on imported oil has the potential to change supply dynamics in the medium term.

The non-oil sector is largely supported by high infrastructure spending, public wages, and subsidies, and, any major decline in oil prices will not only weaken the fiscal position of GCC nations, but will also affect non-oil growth.

Although huge surpluses and stable debt ratios help the GCC nations in withstanding temporary decline in oil prices, effective diversification continues to be the only solution in the long run, Alkhabeer Capital said.

Posted on 22/4/2014

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