IMF: Saudi Economy Growth may exceed our expectations

IMF Saudi Economy Growth may exceed our expectations
IMF Saudi Economy Growth may exceed our expectations

Praising the faster expansion of the non-oil sector, International Monetary Funds (IMF) announces on Monday that the estimates of Saudi Arabia's economic growth for this year, 2019, may be higher than the previous forecast of 1.8% due to the fact that the non-oil sector is expanding faster than the broader economy.

It's noteworthy that the IMF had cut,in an interim report released earlier in January, its growth forecast for SaudiArabia from 2.4% to 1.8%. While Jihad Azour, the Director of the Middle East and CentralAsia Department, IMF states to Reuters saying: "we expect that the non-oil growth to reach 2.6% this year and 2.9% in 2020. Basedon the IMF team's previous estimate, we believe that there is a possibility of aslight rise exceeding our previous forecast."

  • The futures of the global benchmarkBrent crude at the settlement reached 72.15 dollars a barrel, down 2.20 dollarson Friday.

 "Thebudget deficit of Saudi Arabia may reach 7.9% this year, higher than it in 2018assuming oil prices will be in 2019 lower than last year, within $65 a barrel,yet we expect that this deficit will decrease to 5.7% in 2020" Azour also added that "there's now a team of IMF inSaudi Arabia and revised economic figures are expected next week."

Saudi Arabia's economy grew by 2.2% last year,recovering from an economic contraction in 2017. Saudi Arabia estimated thebudget deficit at 4.6% of GDP in 2018 and expects it to reach 4.2% this year. TheKingdom also recorded a budget surplus of $7.4bn (SAR27.8bn) for the firstquarter of 2019, to be the first surplus since the collapse of oil prices in2014, according to the Saudi finance minister, Muhammad Al-Jadaan.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) governor Ahmad Al-Khulaifi earlier said that "The Saudi economy will grow by at least 2% by 2019."

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