Saudi Arabia Economic Forecast

Saudi Arabia Economic Outlook

October 29, 2019

Oil production cuts in compliance with the OPEC+ oil deal and lower prices for the black gold led GDP growth to slow to the lowest rate in over one year in the second quarter. On the upside, the private sector continued to benefit from the government’s pro-growth policies. Looking at the third quarter, the trend should have been broadly similar as in the previous quarter. Saudi Arabia pumped less oil in Q3 2019 compared to the same quarter in 2018, especially in September, when oil production plummeted in the aftermath of a drone attack on Saudi oil facilities. Moreover, oil prices remained subdued in the same quarter. Conversely, the non-oil PMI continued to strengthen compared to the previous year in Q3, boding well for private business activity. On 17 October, Aramco delayed the planned launch of its initial public offering (IPO) as the government is struggling to meet the planned valuation of the company.

Saudi Arabia Economic Growth

The economy will regain some momentum in 2020 following the expected slowdown for 2019, which is driven by deep oil production cuts. The country should benefit from stronger oil production if the OPEC+ deal expires as planned. However, a large fiscal deficit could prompt authorities to moderate public spending, while an uncertain global outlook could dampen demand for oil. FocusEconomics panelists expect growth of 2.1% in 2020, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. In 2021, the panel also sees growth at 2.1%.

Saudi Arabia Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)30.030.831.031.732.6
GDP per capita (USD)24,89224,57721,09520,31321,152
GDP (USD bn)747756654645689
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.73.74.11.7-0.7
Consumption (annual variation in %)-  -  -  -  -  
Investment (annual variation in %)5.67.53.7-14.30.7
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)0.23.15.02.3-2.4
Unemployment Rate5.75.95.75.65.9
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)5.6-3.5-15.8-12.9-9.2
Public Debt (% of GDP)2.11.65.813.117.2
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)18.19.8-8.7-3.71.5
Current Account Balance (USD bn)13573.7-56.7-23.810.5
Trade Balance (USD billion)22318444.355.898.5
Exports (USD billion)376342204184222
Imports (USD billion)153158159128123
Exports (annual variation in %)-3.2-8.9-40.6-9.820.9
Imports (annual variation in %)8.13.30.5-19.8-3.5
International Reserves (USD)726732616536496
External Debt (% of GDP)12.313.113.824.627.7

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Saudi Arabia Facts

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield2.490.0 %Jun 23
Exchange Rate3.750.0 %Sep 04
Stock Market0.21.00 %Sep 04

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