Salaries in Qatar are forecast to grow at the lowest rate in the GCC in 2017, according to a new survey by Aon Hewitt.
Qatar is expected to see a 4.5 percent bump in pay, the firm’s latest GCC Salary Increase Survey states.
The forecast is an optimistic one, given that Aon Hewitt had estimated salaries in Qatar would rise some 4.7 percent this year, but they only actually increased by 3.6 percent.
That’s the lowest the Gulf has seen this year.
The predictions are based on a survey of some 600 multinational and locally-owned companies across the Gulf about their upcoming salary spending forecasts.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia is expected to see the biggest rise next year at 4.9 percent, while Kuwait may see a 4.8 percent pay bump.
The projections are about on par with last year’s forecasted increases, though most turned out to be overly optimistic.
In terms of the best industries for pay hikes, the survey found that the pharmaceutical, media and food/beverage/tobacco sectors did best this year.
Meanwhile, telecoms, construction and oil and gas companies had smaller hikes, though they are expected to improve in 2017.
In a statement this week, Aon Hewitt acknowledged that this year has been an economically challenging one for the Gulf.
Qatar and its peers are indeed struggling to deal with dropping global oil prices, as reflected by widespread layoffs and budget cuts.
But the report explained that its forecast for 2017 stems from optimism about upcoming GCC-wide policies related to “inflation, taxation, diversification, and commodity pricing.”
For example, Qatar hiked fuel prices this year, is seeking to boost tourism revenue and talked about rolling out a sin tax soon.
In a statement, Aon Hewitt Middle East Survey Manager Robert Richter said:
”Lower oil prices are likely to continue moderating the GCC’s economic growth this year, but a refreshed focus on non-oil sectors along with sustained programs of state investment should underpin GDP expansion into 2017.
The latest predictions for 2017 salary increases do fall in line with the general economic climate with signs of optimism on the horizon.”