Economic blockade impact on Qatar ‘fading, risks remain’ – IMF

The economic and financial impact on Qatar of a nine-month Saudi-led blockade is fading, the International Monetary Fund said, adding that some risks for the Gulf emirate remain. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut all diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar last June. The IMF said that the effect of the blockade on economic activity in Qatar had been “transitory” as new trade routes were quickly established and growth remained positive, AFP said Tuesday. Foreign financing and resident private sector deposits had fallen by $40 billion but that had been offset by cash injections by the central bank and the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund. A combination of the austerity measures and the blockade saw non-hydrocarbon growth fall to 4.0 percent in 2017 from 5.6 percent the previous year. At 2.1 percent GDP growth in 2017 was only slightly down on the 2.2 percent registered in 2016.