UPDATE 1-Non-oil sectors boost Qatar Q2 GDP by 5 pct y/y

Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:43am EDT

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By Angus McDowall

DUBAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Qatar's economy grew 5.0 percent from a year earlier in inflation-adjusted terms during the second quarter of 2012, as strong expansion in non-energy sectors including finance and construction largely offset a slacker energy sector, government figures showed on Saturday.

Gross domestic product growth slowed from the first quarter, when it was 6.9 percent year-on-year. Second-quarter GDP climbed 2.5 percent from the first quarter, the figures released by Qatar Statistics Authority showed.

The OPEC producer's economy is dominated by energy production, which accounts for roughly half of output. But that sector grew in real terms by only 0.8 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter and shrank 0.1 percent from the first quarter, because of softer global oil prices.

By contrast, the financial services sector grew 12.1 percent from a year earlier, transport and communications output rose 18.0 percent, and the construction sector increased 10.0 percent. Qatar has embarked on a major infrastructure building programme, partly in preparation to host the 2022 soccer World Cup.

In June, Qatar's state planning authority said it expected economic growth of 6.2 percent this year, slowing to 4.5 percent in 2013, the weakest rate in a decade.

Last year, growth was 14.1 percent. The slowdown is due to the fading impact of two decades of rapid expansion of natural gas production.

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