Qatar GDP growth to slow to 2.3% this year as FIFA effect fades

S&P Global Ratings expects Qatar's GDP growth will slow to 2.3% in 2023 from almost 5% in 2022, which was partly supported by World Cup-related activities.

"The general government budget surplus will moderate to about 5% of GDP in 2023 compared with 10% in 2022, as oil prices (to which LNG contracts are linked) moderate from last year’s highs," Trevor Cullinan and other analysts said in the report.

They noted that growth momentum will strengthen from 2025 as capital spending remains strong and hydrocarbon production increases due to the North Field Expansion (NFE) project, with liquefied natural gas(LNG) production capacity expected to increase about 60% by 2027 from current levels.

LNG production levels will be largely flat until 2025, but increase about 30% over 2026-2027, "given our forecast that the full increase in capacity will take some time to materialize".

Demand for LNG is likely to peak in the mid-2030s, with increasing use of renewables in the energy market having a gradual impact on demand for hydrocarbons but will remain strong competitive even after 2030 due to being a low-cost supplier.  

Qatar’s strong fiscal and external net asset positions will remain a core rating strength, with revenue streams additionally enhanced by the NFE starting in 2026.




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