Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Qatar’s private sector activity slows after World Cup boost

Qatari companies are reporting new business opportunities arising from the World Cup, the PMI found Reuters/John Sibley
Qatari companies are reporting new business opportunities arising from the World Cup, the PMI found

Business activity in Qatar’s private sector cooled in January after its World Cup bounce.

The first Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey for 2023 posted a correction to 45.7 in January, from 49.6 in December, as activity and new work slowed following the tournament, which ran from November 20 to December 18 last year.

It was the lowest score for 31 months. However, the 12-month business outlook hit its highest level in three years. 

Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, CEO of Qatar Financial Centre Authority, said: “Although January saw moderations in current levels of activity and new business, these should be viewed in the context of a very strong 2022, the best calendar year so far during the survey’s six-year history.”

He added that the financial services industry in Qatar was experiencing a “significant boost in growth and expansion”, with activity increasing for the past 19 months.

Confidence is also strong outside financial services, Al Jaida said. The future output index, which tracks non-energy private sector companies’ expectations for business activity over the next 12 months, rose to 74.9, the highest level since January 2020. The monthly gain in the index was the second largest on record, he added. 

“These positive indicators, along with the rise in the employment index, reflect a strong degree of optimism as companies reported new business opportunities arising from the World Cup.” 

The Qatar PMI indices are compiled from survey responses from a panel of around 450 private sector companies. The panel covers the manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail and services sectors.

Although overall levels of activity were lower in January, this was the first correction since a run of strong gains in every month during the previous two-and-a-half years. 

The drop in the headline PMI figure was cushioned by a record one-month rise of 4.1 points in the employment index, the third-largest component with a 20 percent weight. 

Overall labour market conditions were the best in six months and headcount rose in the services and wholesale and retail sectors.

At the start of 2023, the rate of completion in outstanding work matched the fastest registered over the past three-and-a-half years, following a two-year period of strong backlog growth in the lead-up to the Fifa tournament.

Input costs rose at the fastest rate in seven months in January, while output prices were discounted for the first time since last April.

Latest articles

Adnoc sought advice from investment banks on buying a significant stake in BP, a media report said

UAE’s Adnoc explored acquiring BP

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) explored the possibility of acquiring British oil major BP but abandoned the plan as it did not fit into its strategic growth objectives, a media report said.  The talks did not advance beyond the initial stages, Reuters reported, citing informed sources.  The UAE state oil company also sought advice […]

Nature, Undersea cables account for as much as 90 percent of Europe-Asia telecommunications, Water

Iraq and Kuwait team up for European telecom corridor

Iraq’s Informatics and Telecommunication Public Company, a division of the Ministry of Communications, has signed an agreement with Kuwait’s Zajil Telecom to create a telecommunications corridor from the Gulf region to Europe, transiting through Iraq and Turkey. The new route will pass through Iraqi sea and land ports. Iraq’s minister of communications Hayam Al-Yasiri said […]

An artist's impression of part of the Diriyah Square development

Diriyah Square planned for historic Riyadh district

A public space featuring 400 retail outlets and 100 restaurants and cafes is planned for the historic Riyadh district of Diriyah. Diriyah Square will be announced next week at the World Retail Congress in Paris and aims to attract a combination of international retail brands and local artisans.  Diriyah Gate Development Authority group CEO Jerry […]

Turkish crude steel output rose 25% year on year to 3.2 million tonnes in January

Turkish steel in the black but EU rules rankle

Turkey’s steel industry has rebounded strongly from a weak 2023, despite facing new emissions standards and competition for important markets.  Crude steel output rose 25 percent year on year to 3.2 million tonnes in January, with domestic consumption of finished steel reaching 3.5 million tonnes, a 20 percent increase.  Exports were also up, increasing 23 […]