Saudi Arabia Economic Forecast

Saudi Arabia Economic Outlook

November 28, 2017

On 4 November, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the arrests of dozens of Saudi Arabia’s business and political elite, including princes, ministers and wealthy businessmen. Although this move was officially deemed a crackdown on corruption, it will also help Salman cement his political power. Oil prices hit an over two-year high in the aftermath of the crisis, and financial markets showed some volatility. While the impact on the economy is still uncertain, the crown prince’s bid to shore up power could strengthen his reform agenda geared at diversifying the economy away from oil. Moreover, political tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran escalated after a missile launched by Houthi rebels was intercepted over Riyadh on 4 November. The Saudi government accused Iran of providing ballistic missiles to the rebels in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia Economic Growth

Economic activity should rebound next year on the back of higher oil prices and an improved fiscal position. That said, government spending will remain below levels last seen before prices collapsed in 2014. Moreover, spillovers from the ongoing tensions with Iran and domestic political unrest could undermine the economic recovery. Met the why particular Consensus Forecast panelists expect growth of 1.5% next year, which is down 0.2 percentage points 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 %)6.5-3.2-8.9-11.6-11.4
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 30
Exchange Rate3.750.0 %Dec 06
Stock Market0.21.00 %Dec 06

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