QATAR – OVERALL
Recording a 2.3% increase in overall positivity (from October’s 53.2% to 55.5% in November), Qatar’s recovery is being steered by factors similar to those perceived in Saudi Arabia. The improvement of the relationship with the UAE (and the rest of the GCC) has also produced tangible benefits, while the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 (taking place in December) are both major contributors to the positive outlook. Despite trending below July highs of 59.2%, the country’s consistent upward trajectory in consumer confidence has been building since September, when 52.2% net positivity was logged.
It is noteworthy that Qatar, unlike other major GCC economies, was at a relatively modest net positivity of 61.2% ahead of the pandemic in January 2020. While the November 2021 reading is relatively close to the latter value, Qatar is interestingly one of the only GCC economies to have been unable to breach pre-pandemic levels during the series.
QATAR – BUSINESS
On the business confidence front, a slight improvement in conditions is reflected in a rise from 42.4% in October to 43.8% in November (a 1.4% increase in positivity), although Qatar is still trailing the 55% high recorded in March and the pre-pandemic peak of 55.2%. What’s more, while the country is currently experiencing a net negative reading of 56.2% with regard to confidence in the private sector, overall economic sentiment has interestingly seen a substantial increase from October’s 39.7% to 44.3% in November. This still translates to a net negativity of 55.7% towards the economy.
QATAR – ECONOMY
Although Qatar is a small market, consumer sentiment has now climbed above the pre-pandemic level of 44.1% (January 2020) but remains below the series high of 48.5% seen in July. In essence, global issues do not seem to have had much of an impact on the country’s economic situation, though domestic sensitivity has played a more major role in the lack of a substantial move back into positive territory.
QATAR – EMPLOYMENT
In fact, any net positivity in the primary indexes is quite clearly being urged on by the reading of 76.5% positive sentiment towards employment. This is reflective of Qatar’s market size and relatively stringent labour policies. Prior to the pandemic, employment confidence stood at 83.2%. Meanwhile, the July 2021 reading of 80.4% still lingered below the January 2020 mark. However, the increase in the employment index from 74.1% in October to 76.5% in November comes as part of a four-month trend of growth, which alludes to the confidence of Qatar’s population in employment, despite the seeming lack thereof when it comes to the broader direction and global nature of its economy. It is worth considering the potential impact that this may have on attendance and participation in Qatar’s upcoming international sporting events.