Trade surplus testament to Qatar resilience
A surge in Qatar’s trade surplus has given a clear indication of the emirate’s ability to cope with the impact of the economic embargo by ve of its neighbours in the Gulf and wider Middle East. Qatar’s trade surplus posted a 42% jump to QAR50.86bn in the nal quarter of 2018. The gain was on the back of faster expansion in exports, especially to Asia, and weakened imports. For the full year 2018, the trade surplus swelled about 40% to QAR191.44bn, according to gures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority. Asia was the principal destination of Qatar’s exports and the rst origin of Qatar’s imports, representing 81.8% and 33.6% respectively while the European Union made up 9.9% and 32.2%. This contrasted with the Gulf Co-operation Council that made up 3.8% and 1.8%. The Qatari economy enjoyed a solid improvement in overall business conditions across the non-oil and gas private sector in January 2019. The Qatar Financial Centre PMI index rose to 50.5 from 50.1 in December 2018 on a scale where any number over 50 indicates expansion. Driving the latest improvement was a series-record increase in employment, while both short-term output and new business measures ebbed slightly.