The GCC countries followed the Fed and cut their key policy rates, given their pegged exchange rates. Lower interest rates will encourage borrowing and stimulate non-oil growth, which has been weak in recent years. We expect non-oil growth to pick up from 2.1% in 2018 to 2.8% in 2019.
Ongoing geopolitical tensions have created headwinds, but Qatar’s economy has shown signs of resiliency. We expect growth to accelerate to 2.9% in 2019, driven by natural gas production and public investment. Exiting from OPEC sends a symbolic message that the country wants to chart its own course.