Saudi Arabia Economic Forecast

Saudi Arabia Economic Outlook

November 27, 2018

The economy likely performed well in Q3, thanks to a significant rise in oil production and higher oil prices. Moreover, PMI readings pointed to robust growth in the non-oil private sector in the period. Looking ahead to Q4, oil production hit record highs as Saudi Arabia continued to compensate for lower output from Iran. However, at the start of November the U.S. temporarily waived sanctions on Iranian oil exports to eight countries, causing oil prices to freefall. Barring a swift price recovery, this will dampen the performance of the hydrocarbon sector in the final quarter. Nevertheless, the PMI survey for the non-oil sector began Q4 on a positive note, with faster new orders growth and business confidence on future output levels in October marking the highest reading in 58 months. On 22 November the Saudi King inaugurated the USD 22.7 billion Waad Al-Shamaal mining city, which is expected to create approximately 11,000 jobs and aims to develop the northern region and diversify the economy.

Saudi Arabia Economic Growth

Economic growth should accelerate next year given strong fiscal stimulus and diversification efforts to support the non-oil economy. External risks include further oil price falls due to a global oil supply glut, as the world’s top three producers operate at record levels. Greater trade protectionism and a synchronized slowdown in global growth could also reduce demand for oil, leading to a further fall in prices. Our panel expects growth of 2.4% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. In 2020, growth is seen decreasing slightly to 2.3%.

Saudi Arabia Economy Data

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 %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)
Unemployment Rate5.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)6.4-2.3-14.8-12.9-8.9
Public Debt (% of GDP)
Money (annual variation in %)
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)18.19.8-8.7-3.72.2
Current Account Balance (USD bn)13573.7-56.7-23.815.2
Trade Balance (USD billion)22318444.355.8112
Exports (USD billion)376342204184221
Imports (USD billion)153158159128119
Exports (annual variation in %)-3.2-8.9-11.6-9.820.4
Imports (annual variation in %)
International Reserves (USD)726732616536496
External Debt (% of GDP)12.313.113.819.8-  

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Saudi Arabia Facts

Bond Yield2.490.0 %Jun 23
Exchange Rate3.750.0 %Dec 14
Stock Market0.21.00 %Dec 14

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