Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/05/2014 -- Strong growth in the non-hydrocarbon economy, stemming from extensive construction activity and the rapid expansion of the services sector, will drive economic activity over 2014 and 2015. We forecast real GDP of 5.4% this year and 5.0% in 2015, from an estimated 5.7% in 2013. Downside risks remain limited at this stage, but include the potential for delays in the construction sector and an ongoing political dispute between Qatar and the rest of the Gulf. We forecast real private consumption growth of 11.0% in 2014 and 8.0% in 2015, up from an average of 6.2% in 2009-12. The country's fast-rising resident population, on the back of high demand for foreign workers in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, will help to fuel growth in the consumer sector, including the food and drink sector.
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Headline Industry Data (local currency)
- 2014 food consumption growth = +5.7%; compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2013 to 2018 = +5.5%.
- 2014 bottled water value = +13.5%; CAGR 2013 to 2018 = +12.4%
- 2014 mass grocery retail sales = +7.2%; CAGR 2013 to 2018 = +6.9%
Key Industry Trends And Developments
United Biscuits Expands Presence In Region: In November 2013 UK food manufacturer United Biscuits acquired Saudi Arabia-based Rana Confectionery Products. The acquisition comes as part of the company's effort to expand its presence across Middle Eastern markets. United Biscuits will partner with local industry affiliate Ali Zaid Al Quraishi & Brothers but will maintain a majority interest in Rana. The move is intended to boost the regional profile of United Biscuits' McVitie's brand with a view to making it a 'leading brand in the Middle East'.
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