Qatar predicts another budget deficit in second successive year

Qatar predicts another budget deficit in second successive year
1 min read
16 December, 2016
Qatar has published its budget for 2017 and it has predicted that its revenues will stay low as oil prices continue at around $45 a barrel.
Qatari flags flying at Barcelona FC [Anadolu]

Qatar is continuing to adjust its economy in line with shrinking revenues due to cheap oil prices, which are expected to continue well into 2018.

Qatar approved its 2017 budget on Thursday, which projects a budget deficit of $7.8 billion - the second deficit in a row.

The budget projects spending QR198.4 billion (US$54.5 billion) in 2017 and revenues of around QR170.1 billion (US$46.7 billion).

In a statement attributed to the finance minister, Ali Sharif al-Emadi, the ministry pointed towards cut-backs to improve efficiency and reduce operational expenses.

This exact budget deficit figure has not changed since June, when the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics announced that the economy would experience a three-year deficit, before bouncing back in 2018.

This is the second year in a row that Qatar has come far off the mark for its forecasted income, as oil prices have fluctuated dramatically.

The price of oil is now expected to stabilise as OPEC agreed to cut oil output as a collective, with Saudi Arabia taking the largest share of the cut.

Qatar's budget is prioritising projects related to Qatar National Vision 2030, the country's national development plan which was issued in 2008.