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2019-02-04 10:00:00

SAUDI ARABIA ECONOMY UP 2.2%

SAUDI ARABIA ECONOMY UP 2.2%

REUTERS - Saudi Arabia's economy grew at a pace of 2.21 percent in 2018, buoyed by strong oil sector growth and recovering from a contraction in 2017 when the economy was hurt by weak oil prices and austerity measures, government data showed on Thursday.

In 2017, it shrank 0.74 percent, the first annual decline since the global financial crisis nearly a decade earlier.

The oil sector grew 2.85 percent, from a contraction in 2017, while the non-oil sector grew 2.05 percent.

The government did not break down the fourth-quarter data, but full-year growth figures suggested economic growth accelerated in the last quarter.

"We might be looking at GDP growth of 4.0 percent, which was driven primarily by the oil sector, but we might have also seen a fairly strong rebound in private sector growth which I would estimate at 3.2 percent - the fastest since Q42015," said Jean-Paul Pigat, head of research at Lighthouse Research.

The economy grew 2.5 percent in the third quarter.

Saudi officials have predicted a gradual acceleration in growth of the non-oil economy in 2019 as the government decided to boost spending.

Last month Riyadh released a state budget for 2019 that would increase spending by 7 percent from this year's actual level. Investment spending and bonuses for state employees in the budget could revive the private sector.

"Headline real GDP growth is forecast to moderate in 2019 with the OPEC-led oil production cuts, and at this point we only expect a modest increase in non-oil growth," said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its Russia-led allies agreed last month to slash oil production by more than the market had expected.

Malik said a key issue for the economy in 2019 will be the degree of progress that will be made on the investment program of the sovereign wealth Public Investment Fund.

The PIF is backing some of the biggest projects in Saudi Arabia such as the $500 billion NEOM mega economic zone, which the government has said will start developing its first area in the first quarter of 2019.

The 26,500 square km (10,230 square mile) high-tech hub, first revealed in 2017, will include projects powered by wind and solar energy and sports halls, concert facilities and restaurants.

 

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Earlier: 

 W.Asia
2019, February, 1, 11:05:00

SAUDIS OIL WILL DOWN

BLOOMBERG - Saudi Arabia expects to reduce oil output once again in February and pump for six months at levels “well below” the production limit it accepted under OPEC’s oil-cuts accord, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said.

 
 W.Asia
2019, January, 23, 11:05:00

SAUDI'S INVESTMENT FOR U.S.

REUTERS - Saudi Aramco, the world’s top oil producer, is looking to acquire natural gas assets in the United States and is willing to spend “billions of dollars” there as it aims to become a global gas player, the company’s CEO said on Tuesday.

 
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2019, January, 23, 10:40:00

SAUDI ARABIA, UAE CRYPTOCURRENCY

AN - Saudi Arabia and the UAE have launched a joint cryptocurrency during the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination council Saturday in Abu Dhabi, UAE’s national press agency WAM said.

 
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2019, January, 21, 11:30:00

SAUDI ARABIA INVESTMENT $10 BLN

ENCA - Saudi Arabia's planning to build an oil refinery and a petrochemicals plant in South Africa. It's part of a $10-billion (R138-billion) investment in the country.

 
 W.Asia
2019, January, 14, 12:00:00

SAUDI ARABIA'S OIL RESERVES 268.5 BLN BARRELS

CNBC - Saudi Arabia has additional reserves in an area along the border with Kuwait that has sat idle due to a dispute between the neighbors. Including this so-called Neutral Zone, Saudi oil reserves total 268.5 billion barrels, DeGolyer and MacNaughton concluded. That compares with an earlier estimate of 266.3 billion barrels.

 
W.Asia
2019, January, 14, 11:20:00

SAUDI ARAMCO BONDS: $10 BLN

PLATTS - Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil giant Aramco will seek to sell around $10 billion in bonds to help fund the purchase of petrochemicals firm Sabic, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said Sunday.

 
 W.Asia
2019, January, 14, 11:15:00

SAUDI'S INVESTMENT FOR PAKISTAN: $10 BLN

REUTERS - Saudi Arabia plans to set up a $10 billion oil refinery in Pakistan’s deepwater port of Gwadar, the Saudi energy minister said on Saturday, speaking at the Indian Ocean port that is being developed with the help of China.

 

 

Tags: SAUDI ARABIA, ECONOMY,
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