Qatar has broken new records as its economic output continues to soar, increased at its fastest rate in more than four years, with companies in the non-oil private sector confident that workloads will continue to grow as the FIFA World Cup approaches.

Companies surveyed the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and IHS Markit monthly Purchasing Manager’s Index said they were strongly confident of rising workloads over the next 12 months as the index score broke a new record, reaching 62.2.

“Companies expected market conditions to improve further in 2022, with the forthcoming FIFA World Cup mentioned as an expected source of demand. By sub-sector, confidence was strongest among service providers,” the report said.

The report index score of 62.2 broke the previous record of 60.6 in September, with employment also increasing for the 13th successive month. 

Output and new work both increased in October at the fastest rates since the survey began in April 2017, with activity growth especially marked in financial services and construction.

“The buoyant mood in the economy comes at a time of COVID-restriction loosening and record global liquified natural gas (LNG) prices,” the report said.

The PMI surveys businesses about indicators including new orders, output and staff levels. Any score above 50.0 indicates an increase in economic activity, while below that signifies a decrease.

The Qatar PMI has now risen for five consecutive months, also a survey record, said the report.

“We are seeing very positive signs of economic recovery and growth in Qatar, which is mainly supported by the country’s commitment to a long-term economic diversification and its consistent efforts to implementing a national COVID-19 vaccination drive following the gradual reopening of the economy,” said Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO, QFC Authority.

Qatar’s scores have been consistently high since operating conditions began to improve again in July 2020, as the economy emerged from lockdown - the PMI has trended at 55.1, compared with a long-run average of 50.7 since April 2017.

The report said output was boosted by surging demand for goods and services in October, with the rate of expansion surpassing the previous record set in July 2020.

Increased demand for staff also led to a fifth successive month of rising wages and salaries, the report said.

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is scheduled from November 21-December 18, 2022.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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