Qatar's economy grew at a rate of 6% in 2013. This growth is a significant decline from the rate of 13% in 2011. But this slow down of growth has less to do with fundamentals and more to do with the self imposed moratorium on hydrocarbon production from its northern fields according to with a long-term sustainability plan. Growth in 2013 was mainly driven by the non-hydrocarbon sector, particularly construction, transport, communications, and finance. The non-hydrocarbon sector grew at a pace of 10% in 2013 and contributed to about half of GDP. Housing prices and rentals increased as the global economic crisis eased. Both 2012 and 2013 saw current account surpluses worth around 30% of the GDP. This was a reflection of the global oil prices and resilience of the main export destinations in Asia. The growth forecast is positive and could continue at the same pace of 6% if the contribution from the hydrocarbon sector is modest. Inflation may increase slightly as the non-hydrocarbons sector continues growing at the steady pace of 10%.
Qatar's economy is dominated by hydrocarbons, comprising about 44.2% of real GDP in 2013 compared to 49% in 2012. The decline is due to the maturation of oil fields. Petrochemicals and refining activities represent about 40% of the manufacturing sector, while metals and cement is a burgeoning part of the economy. Overall manufacturing is expected to grow by about 7.6% in 2014, driven significantly by construction demands for cement and metals. The construction sector grew 10.5% in 2013 and is expected to accelerate to 12.1% in 2014 as the government invests in transport infrastructure including roads and rail, and healthcare and education facilities. Qatar is expected to spend $158.9 billion on infrastructure by 2018. The service sector is expected to expand by 10% in 2014 with Qatar's population set to expand to about 2.2 million people, an increase of 2.5 million. Financial services are also a strong sector in Qatar, especially insurance and Islamic finance. Trade and hospitality, already on an upward trajectory, will likely strengthen as Iran's economy opens up.
Qatar's doing business ranking (48 out of 189 economies) fell three places in 2014. The rankings for starting a business (112), registering property (43) and getting credit fell the farthest. Qatar excels at resolving insolvency (36) and trading across borders. Qatar also ranks as the world's best country, after United Arab Emirates, to pay taxes (2).