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Saudi Arabia: Non-oil Sector Grows 2.7% in 3 Months

Saudi Arabia: Non-oil Sector Grows 2.7% in 3 Months

Thursday, 11 July, 2019 - 09:15
Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
Riyadh- Asharq Al-Awsat
The non-oil sector in Saudi Arabia has recorded a 2.7 percent growth in Q1 of the current year compared to 2.3 percent last year.

Meanwhile, the kingdom has witnessed a 4 percent rise in total exports, on an annual basis, reaching USD72 billion in the first quarter of 2019.

A report issued by Jadwa Investment revealed Wednesday expectations of growth in the non-oil sector to 2.4 percent in 2019 compared to 1.7 percent in 2018, while indicators have shown that in 2020 the non-oil sector growth would be 2.7 percent.

The actual GDP of Q1 of 2019 showed an expansion in the Saudi economy with 1.7 percent, on an annual basis, while the kingdom witnessed a 4 percent rise in total exports, annually, reaching USD72 billion in Q1 of 2019.

Recent data revealed that the current account in Saudi Arabia has maintained a surplus of around USD11.5 billion – equal to 5.9 percent of the GDP.

In the SMEs, the total value of banking loans reached around SAR100billion (USD26.6 billion) i.e. 5.8 percent of total banking loans. This indicates an increase in the targeted level of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) 2020.

Further, credit facilitation provided by banks to SMEs end of Q1 of 2019 totaled SAR105 billion (USD28 billion), an increase of 20 percent on an annual basis.

The report illuminated forecasts of a drop in Saudi unemployment in 2019 to 12.4 percent compared to 12.9 percent in 2018, in addition, it would reach 12.1 percent in 2020.

In the general budget indicators, Saudi imports continued to rise from SAR692 billion (USD184.5 billion) in 2017, to SAR906 billion (USD241.5 billion) in 2018 with forecasts they would rise to SAR910 billion (USD242.6 billion) in 2019. Revenues are also expected to reach SAR1,005 billion (USD268 billion) in 2020.

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