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Qatar expects to see budget surpluses in coming yrs

Nominal GDP seen growing 18 pct to $150 bln in 2011; Budget surplus seen at 5.7 pct of GDP in 2016

September 15, 2011 11:05 by

Qatar is expected to keep posting budget surpluses in the coming years and the OPEC member’s nominal gross domestic product should jump to 547 billion riyals ($150 billion) this year, its central bank governor said on Thursday.

“Despite the huge investments planned… the government budget is expected to continue to post surpluses in the coming years with a surplus of 5.7 percent of GDP seen in 2016,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani told a meeting of Arab central bank governors in a speech on behalf of the country’s prime minister.

Qatar’s government budget surplus shrank sharply to 2.9 percent of its economic output in the 2010/11 fiscal year as spending jumped. The fiscal year starts in April.

Qatar, the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter and one of the largest global investors through its sovereign wealth fund, plans to spend over $125 billion in the next five years on construction and energy projects according to its plan.

Qatar’s nominal GDP reached 463 billion riyals in 2010. The government 2011 estimate is putting its growth at 18 percent at current prices, according to Reuters calculations.

The country’s five-year national development strategy projects the nominal economic output to reach 775 billion riyals in 2016, Sheikh Abdullah also said.

Analysts polled by Reuters in June forecast Qatar’s real GDP to expand by 16.7 percent in 2011. The statistics office has not yet released 2010 real GDP data. (Reporting by Eman Goma and Martin Dokoupil; Editing by Shaheen Pasha)

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