Qatar business optimism soars to 3-year high

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Business optimism in Qatar soars to its highest for nearly three years

Dun & Bradstreet survey shows sharp rise in confidence in the Finance, Real Estate and Business Services sector

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Qatar business optimism soars to three year high

Business optimism in Qatar has soared to its highest in nearly three years according to the Dun & Bradstreet Business Optimism Index for Qatar in the fourth quarter of 2013. The index reveals that optimism is at a level unsurpassed for 11 quarters.

The survey also reveals that optimism in the Finance, Real Estate and Business Services sector has reached its highest level in the last three years. At a year on year growth of 15.4%, the sector has been the fastest growing business sector in Qatar.

The index for the consolidated non-hydrocarbon sector was 53, up 14 points from Q3 2013 and around 15 points from Q4 2012 levels. The index value in Q4 2013 is the highest recorded reading since Q1 2011, when it touched 61 points, showing that economic diversification in Qatar is gathering momentum.

Other indicators also provide evidence for the strength of Qatar’s economy. The profitability expectations of the Finance, Real Estate & Business Services sector have risen sharply over the last year (58 points in Q4 2013 from 21 points in Q4 2012).  At the same time, nearly 50% of small – and medium-sized companies surveyed in the sector plan to hire in Q4 of this year.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

Hydrocarbon sector

Optimism is at the highest level (29, up from 17 in Q4 2012 and 13 in Q3 2013) it has been in the last two years, supported by a positive outlook for sales volumes, profits and hiring.

Manufacturing

Optimism is at its highest (53, up from 33 in Q4 2012 and 35 in Q3 2013) for three years, driven by a very optimistic outlook for sales and demand, which is the highest among the non-hydrocarbon sectors.

Construction

Construction is at the most optimistic (53, up from 29 in Q4 2012 and 36 in Q3 2013) level it has been in the last three years, partly because of sharp rises in expectations for selling prices and profits and strongly supported by the sector’s expectations for hiring, which are  the highest among the non-hydrocarbon sectors. 

Trade & Hospitality

Optimism (52, up from 34 in Q4 2012 and 34 in Q3 2013)  is close to the all-time high of 56 reached in Q1 2011, driven by strong expectations on sales, demand for new orders and in particular profitability, which is the highest amongst all sectors.

Transport & Communications

Optimism is recovering (50, up from 45 in Q4 2012 and 43 in Q3 2013) on the basis of a strong outlook for profitability. The sector has the highest number of respondents (81%), within the non-hydrocarbon group, which does not foresee any negative factors impacting business in Q4.

Yousef M. Al-Jaida, Chief Strategic Development Officer, QFC Authority, said:  “The sharp increase in optimism shows how strong and resilient the Qatar economy is.  In particular, the Finance, Real Estate and Business Services sector is maturing rapidly and is a major force behind economic diversification, playing a leading role in supporting the country’s development.”

Commenting on the findings of the latest survey Prashant Kumar, Associate Director, Dun and Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Ltd., said: “The Q4 2013 BOI indicates rising optimism levels across all sectors in Qatar. Both the non-hydrocarbon and Hydrocarbon sector scores have recovered after a period of decline during the last two to three quarters.  Amongst the key sectors, the Finance, Real Estate and Business Services sector and the Construction and Manufacturing sectors reflect the highest optimism levels. It is encouraging to see that 72% of the non-hydrocarbon sector respondents expect that no negative factors or challenges will affect their business operations in Q4 2013, a significant increase from the previous quarter’s 58%. For the remaining 28%, competition and delays in payment and receivables continue to be the key challenges.”

 

Photo: Sam Agnew/Flickr

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