Qatar’s current account balance set to rebound to 7.1% this year, 7.9% in 2022: Lloyds Bank
Qatar’s current account balance is expected to rebound to 7.1% this year and 7.9% in 2022 from -3.4% of GDP in 2020, an update from Lloyds Bank showed.
General government debt increased from 62.3% of GDP in 2019 to 71.8% in 2020, as the country continues to borrow on international markets. The International Monetary Fund anticipates debt reduction this year and next, with levels at 59.8% of GDP in 2021 and 53.9% in 2022.
The current account surplus narrowed to 2.4% of GDP in 2019, from 9.1% a year earlier, due to falling global energy prices, according to the update.
However, the IMF expects this trend to be reinforced by the negative economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and falling oil prices.
In the medium term, the expansion of the North Field gas projects is expected to be completed by 2024, further increasing gas production, Lloyds Bank said.
In February, Qatar Petroleum made the final investment decision for the development of the NFE project, the world’s largest LNG project, which will increase Qatar’s production capacity from 77 million tonnes per year (mtpa) to 110 mtpa by 2025.
The project will also produce condensate, LPG, ethane, sulfur and helium.
It is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2025 and total production will reach around 1.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The NFE project will be one of the energy industry’s largest investments in recent years, in addition to being the largest LNG capacity addition ever, and the most competitive LNG project in the world.
New projects are planned in infrastructure and telecommunications, and various construction projects are underway ahead of the World Cup in 2022, Lloyds Bank said.
Inflation is estimated to have fallen to -0.7% in 2019 and -2.7% in 2020. The IMF estimates that inflation will increase to 2.4% in 2021 and 2.9% in 2022 in its latest. World Economic Outlook.