Qatar survey shows high optimism for economy

The recent Business Optimism Index (BOI) released by Dun and Bradstreet stated that Qatar’s economy remains positive.

Despite slow and uneven global growth, the survey said that particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within Qatar continue to remain highly optimistic moving into the fourth quarter of 2014, reportsArabian Business.

Leading the non-carbon sector was construction, driven by a large number of new projects and tenders. The composite BOI for Qatar’s non-hydrocarbon sector rose to 49, an increase of 26% quarter-on-quarter.

Optimism has been driven by an increased client base, expansion plans and profitability, the report stated, with more than two-thirds of those surveyed expecting an increase in sales volumes. 68% anticipate an increase on new orders, while expansion plans remain robust overall, with 35% – a slight decrease from last quarter – expressing intent to expand current business.

Commenting on the results, Yousuf Al-Jaida, deputy CEO of the QFC Authority which sponsors the index, said: “This quarter’s survey further demonstrates Qatar’s positive business environment. Optimism among our business community remains high.”

He added: “We expect to see this translated into increased interest in Qatar from international firms as well as a continued increase in Qatari entities establishing companies in the QFC.”

While globally increased urbanisation is fuelling the construction sector the outlook for Q4 remains optimistic, with consumer spending, and credit availability contributing to confidence. Preparations for both the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup are driving enthusiasm nationally.

Steadily increasing population, government spending, high per capita income, GDP growth, and prudent policy preferences have contributed towards the positive outlook, with the Q4 BOI for the construction sector rising to 53, up 11 points from 42 in Q3.

The finance, real estate and business services sectors, owing to promising expectations for sales volumes, selling prices, new orders, profits, and number of employees, contributed to overall optimism.

Genreally, SMEs are more optimistic about the Qatari business environment than the large local companies.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani, board member of the Qatar Businessmen Association, said: “The final BOI report for this year shows that optimism prevails in Qatar, with a majority of businesses confident of embarking upon new projects as the country continues its bold and progressive journey towards the realisation of our National Vision.

“As the latest trends clearly indicate, we are on the right path, and I sincerely hope that this pattern will continue in the coming quarters.”