DOHA: Qatar’s non-oil economic growth is forecast to pick up in 2014. Fitch Ratings said in its latest “Mena Sovereign Credit Overview” that Qatar’s high government capital spending and population growth should sustain double-digit non-hydrocarbon growth.
The country’s huge project spending in pipeline brings management challenges and overcapacity risks. Benign external environment is keeping inflation under control despite rising rents.
The ratings agency said the average sovereign ratings of energy exporters and importers in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) have further diverged in 2014. Credit fundamentals across the energy exporters are expected to remain strong, driven by triple digit oil prices. Fitch forecasts that Brent crude will average $105 per barrel in 2014 and $100 per barrel in 2015. As a result, all energy exporters are expected to record external surpluses and all except Bahrain (‘BBB’) are forecast to post fiscal surpluses in both years.
Fitch assumes that economic performance should improve in most energy importers in 2014 due to greater external financial support, a recovery in eurozone and, in some cases, improved political stability. The Peninsula