Saudi Arabia: Stronger performance in the non-oil sector supports GDP growth in Q4
April 4, 2016
Despite the low–oil-price environment driven by the global oil glut, the Saudi economy still managed to expand at a robust pace in Q4. GDP expanded 3.6% in Q4 over the same quarter of the previous year, which matched the result tallied in Q3. Steady growth in Q4 reflects that stronger activity in the non-oil sector (Q3: +3.3% year-on-year; Q4: +3.5% yoy), which was mainly due to bold support from Saudi authorities, compensated for slightly-weaker dynamics in the all-important oil industry (Q3: +3.8% yoy; Q4: +3.7% yoy).
Activity in crude petroleum and natural gas rose 3.8% annually in Q4, marking an acceleration over the 2.4% increase in Q3. Dynamics in the manufacturing sector decelerated to a 3.1% expansion (Q3: +7.5% yoy) due to weaker petroleum refining. Growth in finance, insurance, real estate and business services decelerated as did the construction sector. On the upside, growth in the agriculture sector and government services accelerated in the final quarter of 2015.
In the full year 2015, the economy expanded 3.4%, which was below the 3.6% rise tallied in 2014.The result was in line with the preliminary estimate that was unveiled along with the 2016 budget report published by the Central Department of Statistics & Information on 28 December.