Optimism high in construction sector in Qatar

June 02, 2014 - 6:44:15 am

DOHA: Optimism among Qatar’s construction industry in the second quarter of 2014 is at its highest for three years, according to the Dun and Bradstreet Business Optimism Index (BOI).

Sponsored by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC Authority) in partnership with the Qatar Businessmen Association, the survey also reveals that the score for the finance, real estate and business services sector was 18 points higher in Q2, 2014 than in Q2, 2013.

Yousef Mohammed Al Jaida, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the QFC Authority, said: “This latest BOI Survey shows that Qatar’s finance, real estate and business services sector continues to strengthen. No fewer than 64 percent of respondents in the sector expect higher profits in the second quarter of 2014. Construction is emerging as a major force behind the sector’s growth as well as boosting Qatar’s economy more generally. These trends are further evidence of the extent to which the economy is diversifying.”

The index reveals that the finance, real estate and business services sector has recorded its second highest optimism score since the first quarter of 2011.

The sector’s rise stems from the strong Qatari economy, higher demand for insurance for new construction and an increase in savings and investment by a growing population. Within the finance, real estate and business services sector, the outlook for finance and insurance firms was stronger than for real estate and business services firms on volumes, new orders and profits.

Real estate and business services firms, however, were more optimistic about selling prices and hiring. These firms are benefiting from the expected rise in construction activity, which is pushing up demand for related services such as architecture and engineering consulting, building material testing and manpower supply. Moreover, the growing number of companies establishing offices in Qatar is increasing the optimism of business services firms dealing with corporates in areas such as IT, advertising and auditing.

In the construction sector, optimism is at its highest for three years and the strongest in the non-hydrocarbon sector. The BOI score of 54 for Q2, 2014 was three points up from Q1, 2014 and 13 points up from Q2, 2013. Higher scores for selling prices, net profits and hiring drove the overall result for Q2, 2014.

The index for the consolidated non-hydrocarbon sector was 47 points, which was up 7 points year-on-year but showed a decline of 2 points from Q1 2014. The decline was mainly due to seasonal factors, specifically the impact of the coming summer season on sectors such as trade and hospitality and related services, such as event management.

Nevertheless, underlying trends in the non-hydrocarbon sector remain firm. Of respondents in the non-hydrocarbon sector, 59 percent expect higher net profits, 65 percent expect higher sales and 67 percent expect higher orders in Q2, 2014. The Peninsula