Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Oil drags down Saudi GDP growth

A dip in oil output dragged down Saudi Arabia's GDP growth to 2.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year, government data released yesterday showed.

A dip in oil output dragged down Saudi Arabia's GDP growth to 2.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year, government data released yesterday showed.

Growth dropped from 6.5 per cent in the year earlier period, according to figures from the Central Department of Statistics.

It revised its GDP growth figure for that period from a previously announced rate of 8.3 per cent.

Expansion in the non-oil private sector slackened to 4.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year, down from 5.2 per cent.

The data follows the release of a report on Saturday about the kingdom's economy by the IMF. It said overall growth for this year would slip to 4 per cent, from 5.1 per cent last year.

"Private sector growth is expected to be strong, but oil production is likely to be below 2012 levels while government spending growth may slow," the IMF said in a report concluding its Article IV consultation with the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia's economy benefited from a pick-up in oil output during the past two years as Opec pushed up production to compensate for disruption to supply in Libya and later Iran.

The government also pushed up social spending to appease citizens in response to unrest sweeping across the region.

But both drivers have since slowed.

The IMF said government expenditure had slowed last year.

Still, it said with oil prices and production expected to be lower this year, fiscal and external surpluses would narrow.

It forecast inflation to reach 4 per cent this year, up from 2.9 per cent last year.

Consumer price rises in the kingdom grew to 3.8 per cent in May, driven by higher food prices and housing costs, according to government data.

Inflation would ease towards the year-end in line with declining international food prices, the IMF said.

Separately, in another report, the IMF forecast GDP growth in Oman to reach 5.1 per cent this year, up from 5 per cent last year.

New recovery technologies and investment prompted by higher oil prices would help to lift oil output last year and this year, it said.

Inflation would rise from 2.9 per cent last year to 3.1 per cent this year, it forecast.



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 A sign points the way to an outdoor market popular with German visitors on the Polish side of the German-Polish border. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In pictures: A decade since the European Union went east

May 1 will mark 10 years since the European Union expanded east, taking in countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states as new members. And though the border region between Germany and Poland is flourishing with trade and cultural exchange, the open border has also brought a sharp rise in crime.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National