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Qatar expected to beat the odds and post a budget surplus for 2020

Qatar has seen a construction boost in-line with the 2022 World Cup [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 May, 2020

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Qatar could see five percent growth in 2020.
Qatar could buck the global trend by posting a budget surplus in 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reported.

The gas-rich Gulf state could record positive growth this year, the IMF added, as much of the region and wider world prepares for a punishing 2020 due to the coronavirus and economic recession that is set to hit.

Ali Al-Eyd, the IMF's mission chief in the country, told Al Jazeera that Qatar could be among a handful of countries in the world to see positive growth this year.

Qatar could see five percent growth, due to a more positive outlook for the gas industry, while its oil-reliant neighbours are hit hard by low oil prices.

The IMF predicted that Qatar could see 5 percent growth this year, with only the Republic of Congo, Micronesia and Nauru expected to post higher rates.

This is in stark contrast to Doha's Gulf neighbours, including Saudi Arabia and Oman who look set to be battered by low oil prices and coronavirus lockdowns.

"There has been a reduction in capital expenditure," Al-Eyd told the broadcaster.

"So they continue to spend on capital needs to meet the World Cup target deadline and other ongoing projects. But they're reducing capital expenditure elsewhere."
Qatar has benefited from long-term LNG contracts and "a fairly decent revenue stream coming in this year", he added.

"They reduce their expenditure and they largely sustain the revenue."

However, he said the revenue impact of lower oil prices "will be felt more next year".

Qatar saw 23,623 recorded cases of coronavirus and only 14 deaths, after ordering a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the disease.

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