QCB’s forex reserves rise to $45.4bn

(9/13/2018 7:37:00 AM)

Qatar’s fiscal account turned to a surplus in first quarter of 2018 (Q1,18) as revenue rose in line with higher oil prices. The current account surplus widened to 7.3 percent of GDP in Q1, while the financial account deficit narrowed.

Exports grew 45.3 percent year-on-year in July as a result of higher oil prices, while imports grew 50 percent y/y due to the base effect from last year. QCB foreign exchange reserves rose 0.3 percent m/m to reach $45.4bn in July, equating to 7 months of import cover, according to QNB’s Monthly Monitor chart.

The country’s real GDP growth slowed in Q1 due to a further fall in hydrocarbon output. Non-hydrocarbon GDP growth was a solid 4.9 percent y/y. Booming construction output, up 17.2 percent, remained the key driver of activity in the non-hydrocarbon sector. Manufacturing gained 3 percent. CPI inflation was broadly flat at 0.6 percent in August; food inflation moderated, while housing inflation slightly picked up.

Brent crude prices slipped to an average of $73.8/b in August and Qatar’s oil production rose to 622,000b/d in June from the previous month’s 601000b/d. The real estate price index slipped back further in June. 5-star and 4-star hotel occupancy rates dipped slightly in July to stand at 55 percent and 60 percent respectively.

Qatar’s bank asset growth was 6.5 percent y/y in July. Bank deposit growth was 5.3 percent in July and credit growth grew by 3.5 percent. Deposits from the non-resident and private sector grew 6.1 percent and 2.2 percent month-on-month, respectively in July, while the public sector declined 6.9 percent month-on-month. Broad money supply (M2) grew by 10.3 percent y/y in July.

The Peninsula