December 29, 2017 / 5:30 PM / 2 months ago

Qatar economy has recovered from boycott, GDP figures show

DUBAI, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Qatar’s economy has largely recovered from a boycott imposed by other Arab states and is again growing at one of the fastest rates in the region, according to figures released by the statistics ministry on Friday.

Gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier in the third quarter of 2017, accelerating from a revised growth rate of just 0.3 percent in the second quarter, which was the slowest expansion since the 2009-2010 global financial crisis.

GDP grew 5.5 percent from the previous quarter, accelerating from a rate of 0.2 percent in the second quarter.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, disrupting Doha’s imports and triggering the withdrawal of billions of dollars of deposits from Qatari banks.

The boycott hurt second-quarter GDP but Qatar, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas, responded by developing new trade routes, depositing state money in its banks and helping local firms to develop domestic output of some key goods.

The third-quarter figures suggested this strategy is proving successful; the mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil and gas, grew just 0.2 percent from a year earlier but the rest of the economy expanded 3.6 percent.

The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector shot up 9.6 percent as Qatar ramped up production of foods such as milk, for which it imported thousands of cows. The manufacturing sector grew 5.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the output of the construction sector soared 14.7 percent from a year earlier, suggesting that government spending has continued to fuel work on projects despite a sharp downturn in the residential real estate market that has been worsened by the boycott. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Andrew Bolton)

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