Saudi Arabia Economic Forecast

Saudi Arabia Economic Outlook

July 31, 2018

The economic recovery is gathering pace mostly due to OPEC’s decision to increase oil production in order to keep markets adequately supplied and high oil prices, which have stoked activity in the all-important oil sector. Moreover, the recovery is broadening as the impact of the VAT implemented in January fades, and gains from the recovery in the oil-sector are slowly trickling down to the rest of the economy. The non-hydrocarbon PMI hit a six-month high in June, while credit growth and foreign reserves improved in Q2. Higher production and oil prices are also translating into an improvement in the government’s fiscal position and the current account balance, which recorded a healthy surplus in Q1. On the flip side, the government’s Saudization policy, which is expelling foreign workers, could create labor shortages in some sectors, while the crackdown on corruption implemented last year is deterring investment and spurring capital outflows.

Saudi Arabia Economic Growth

Rising oil production and higher prices for the black gold will fuel this year’s economic recovery. However, the VAT implementation that disrupted activity at the outset of the year, persistent regional threats and domestic political unrest will weigh on growth this year. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect growth of 1.7% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. In 2019, growth is seen picking up pace to 2.3%.

Saudi Arabia Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)30.030.831.031.732.4
GDP per capita (USD)24,89224,57721,09520,31321,120
GDP (USD bn)747756654645684
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.73.74.11.7-0.7
Consumption (annual variation in %)3.26.16.82.22.0
Investment (annual variation in %)5.67.53.7-14.4-7.0
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)0.23.15.02.4-2.3
Unemployment Rate5.65.85.75.65.9
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)6.4-2.3-14.8-12.9-8.9
Public Debt (% of GDP)2.11.65.813.117.1
Money (annual variation in %)11.114.62.43.6-1.0
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)2.51.91.31.0-1.1
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)3.52.21.22.1-0.8
Policy Interest Rate (%)2.002.002.002.002.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)3.753.753.753.753.75
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)3.753.753.753.753.75
Current Account (% of GDP)18.19.8-8.7-3.72.2
Current Account Balance (USD bn)13573.7-56.7-23.815.2
Trade Balance (USD billion)22318444.355.8102
Exports (USD billion)376342204184221
Imports (USD billion)153158159128119
Exports (annual variation in %)-3.2-8.9-40.6-9.820.4
Imports (annual variation in %)8.13.30.5-19.8-6.6
International Reserves (USD)726732616536496
External Debt (% of GDP)12.313.113.819.8-  

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Saudi Arabia Facts

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield2.490.0 %Jun 23
Exchange Rate3.750.0 %Aug 15
Stock Market0.21.00 %Aug 14

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