Saudi Arabia Economic Forecast

Saudi Arabia Economic Outlook

January 8, 2019

The economy benefited from increased crude oil production and higher prices for the black gold in the third quarter, prompting GDP to expand at the fastest pace in two-and-a-half years. Although growth in non-oil private activity accelerated slightly, it remained low compared to historical figures. Subdued dynamics in the private sector, a rising unemployment rate and low levels of foreign investment are casting doubts over the much-trumpeted Saudi Vision 2030. In order to shore up economic growth, on 18 December, the government announced an expansionary budget for 2019, which focuses on boosting capital expenditure. Analysts, however, warn that the projected revenues could be on the optimistic side. While the implied price is about USD 70 per barrel, oil prices have fallen in recent weeks and hit an over one-year low of USD 50.1 per barrel on 26 December.

Saudi Arabia Economic Growth

The economic recovery should broaden this year due to renewed fiscal stimulus, which should support domestic demand. Although the Saudi government sees the recent drop in oil prices as temporary, it is still unclear whether the recently-approved oil production cut will be enough to push up oil prices. Our panel expects growth of 2.2% in 2019, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s projection. In 2020, growth is also seen at 2.2%.

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 %Jan 16
Stock Market0.21.00 %Jan 16

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