DUBAI - Economic growth in Qatar will continue to normalise in the near- term following a boost in 2022 from hosting football's World Cup, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.
The IMF, which is forecasting GDP growth of 1.9% for Qatar in 2024, said the Gulf state has remained resilient to recent global shocks and its economic outlook is favourable. It said there had been no visible impact on Qatar from the Hamas-Israel conflict.
In the medium-term, Qatar - among the world's top LNG exporters - is expected to register average growth of 5.5%, boosted by significant expansion in the production of LNG and implementation of fiscal and other reforms.
"Risks are broadly balanced. Maintaining prudent macroeconomic policy and intensifying reform efforts will support Qatar’s resilience to shocks and accelerate its economic transformation," the IMF said, concluding its Article IV consultation.
Among these, the IMF has recommended adoption of value-added tax (VAT), reforms to expand private sector growth and the labour market, the gradual removal of subsidies and reducing the wage bill.
Despite its favourable growth outlook, Qatar's economy remains largely dependent on hydrocarbons, and efforts to diversify income sources and economic sectors have so far lagged those of regional neighbours.
Its economy is expected to underperform the broader Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region in 2024, where GDP growth is forecast to rebound to 2.7%.
(Reporting by Ahmed Elimam and Jana Choukeir; Writing by Rachna Uppal; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Jonathan Oatis)