Economic Growth in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia's GDP growth from 2013 to 2022 mirrored the global oil market's fluctuations and domestic economic reforms. Early in the decade, high oil prices facilitated growth, but the mid-2010s oil price crash led to a slowdown and fiscal deficits. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp contraction, but recovery was underway by 2022, driven by rising oil prices and successful economic diversification efforts.
The economy of Saudi Arabia recorded an average real GDP growth of 2.6% in the decade to 2022, above the 2.0% average for the Middle East & North Africa. In 2022, real GDP growth was 8.7%. For more GDP information, visit our dedicated page.
Saudi Arabia GDP Chart
Saudi Arabia GDP Data
|Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %)||2.8||0.8||-4.3||4.3||8.7|
|GDP (USD bn)||846||838||734||874||1,107|
|GDP (SAR bn)||3,175||3,145||2,754||3,278||4,157|
|Economic Growth (Nominal GDP, ann. var. %)||18.4||-0.9||-12.4||19.1||26.8|
|Economic Growth (GDP non-Oil, ann. var. %)||-0.9||3.5||-3.0||6.4||5.3|
|Economic Growth (GDP Oil, ann. var. %)||2.3||-3.3||-6.7||0.2||15.4|
Economy contracts in Q3 due to slumping oil output
A flash estimate showed that the economy contracted 4.5% on an annual basis in Q3 after expanding 1.2% in Q2. The contraction came after four consecutive quarters in which GDP growth had slowed, and was the sharpest since Q3 2020—the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The oil sector slumped 17.3% in Q3 (Q2: -3.8% yoy) as a result of cuts to oil production agreed with OPEC and the 1.00-million-barrels-per-day voluntary cut in place since July. Meanwhile, growth in the non-oil private sector slowed to 3.6% (Q2: +5.3% yoy), while growth in the government services sector rose to 1.9% (Q1: +0.3% yoy). On a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy contracted 3.9% in Q3 after weakening 0.4% in Q2.
The economy is likely to remain subdued in Q4, with a significant risk of a technical recession on the cards. The 1.00-million-barrel-per-day cut to crude production will remain in place until the end of December, likely leading to a sharp contraction in the all-important oil sector. However, growth should pick up in 2024 as the production cuts are rolled back.
How should you choose a forecaster if some are too optimistic while others are too pessimistic? FocusEconomics collects Saudi Arabian GDP projections for the next ten years from a panel of 28 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. By averaging all forecasts, upside and downside forecasting errors tend to cancel each other out, leading to the most reliable GDP forecast available for Saudi Arabian GDP.
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