Saudi Arabia Economic Forecast

Saudi Arabia Economic Outlook

March 6, 2018

Volatility in financial markets, a strong U.S. dollar and surging oil production in the United States sent oil prices down in early February, threatening to derail the Kingdom’s economic recovery. Although oil prices are expected to remain relatively high this year compared to in 2017, Saudi authorities signaled that they will likely tap international bond markets for the third consecutive year in 2018, as early as March, to ease fiscal pressures. Meanwhile, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues to cement his political power following November’s massive crackdown on corruption that affected prominent businessmen, princes and top officials. On 26 February, the Saudi government announced that several top commanders had been removed, including the military chief of staff and the leaders of air and land forces.

Saudi Arabia Economic Growth

The economy will benefit this year from higher oil prices compared to 2017 and strong global growth. Increased oil revenues will allow the government to adopt a more expansive fiscal stance. That said, persistent geopolitical threats and capped oil supply are expected to limit the economic recovery. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect growth of 1.6% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s projection. In 2019, growth is seen picking up pace to 2.3%.

Saudi Arabia Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)25,20524,89224,57721,01420,145
GDP (USD bn)736747756652639
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)
Unemployment Rate5.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)13.66.4-2.3-14.8-12.4
Public Debt (% of GDP)
Money (annual variation in %)13.611.
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
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)22.418.19.8-8.7-3.9
Current Account Balance (USD bn)16513573.7-56.7-24.9
Trade Balance (USD billion)24722318444.358.4
Exports (USD billion)388376342204182
Imports (USD billion)142153158159124
Exports (annual variation in %)6.5-3.2-8.9-40.6-10.4
Imports (annual variation in %)
International Reserves (USD)656726732616536
External Debt (% of GDP)12.011.612.515.1-  

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Saudi Arabia Facts

Bond Yield2.490.0 %Jun 23
Exchange Rate3.750.0 %Mar 15
Stock Market0.21.00 %Mar 15

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