Expatriates in Qatar spend about 40% of their expenditure on housing; while nationals spend more on food, transport and overseas travel, according to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC).
Consumer expenditures in Qatar are primarily driven by housing, food, transport and travel abroad, together which make up nearly three-quarter of overall expenditure in the country with housing alone representing over a quarter, MEC said in its new macroeconomic model, prepared in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, Qatar Central Bank and Qatar Petroleum.
The new model, which was unveiled by Prime Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani on Tuesday, presented four scenarios -- True Diversification, Lost Advantage, Energy Plus and New Pocket -- based on the outcome of global growth and domestic competitiveness.
The upside true diversification and energy plus scenarios assume the global economy and oil prices as relatively strong and the downside lost advantage and new pockets scenarios assume the global economy and oil prices as relatively soft.
“Qatar’s consumption basket varies by nationality with Qataris spending relatively more on food, transport and travel and non-Qataris using about 40% of their consumption on servicing housing costs (during 2012-13),” the model said.
Non-Qataris despite spending less than half of nationals in riyals, actually spend more on housing in absolute term, it said, adding by contrast, Qataris need only spend 11% of their consumption on housing.
The other category in which non-Qataris spend a larger share of their income is in education, which constituted 6% against 4% by locals.
On food, it found, Qataris spend 22% of their income against 17% by non-Qataris; transportation (18% and 14%); overseas travel (16% and 10%) and communications (8% and 5%).
The macroeconomic model said private consumption is one of the key motors that generate economic growth, particularly in advanced economies.
According to MEC’s various scenarios, diversification will be a crucial driver of this transition for Qatar with its true diversification scenario postulating consumption growth of more than 7% between 2014 and 2030, while the growth rates under energy plus and downside scenarios do not foresee growth of even 4% over the period with the latter beginning to plateau by 2030.
“Much of this boost in consumption may be due to a larger expected population and number of employees, who will consequently be earning more wages and spending more, fuelling consumption,” the model said.
The model forecasted that consumption could show a compound annual growth rate of as high as 8% under true diversification, 6.9% under new pockets, 3.8% under lost advantage and 2.9% under energy plus.
The domestic consumption, which averaged 16.2% of gross domestic product during 2004-14, is forecasted at 19.5% under diversification, 19.7% (new pockets), 22.7% (energy plus) and 20.7% (lost advantage), it said, adding consumption could become a considerable motor for growth if it expands above 7% per annum in real terms in high growth scenarios.
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