The Saudi Arabian economy is predicted to witness an average growth rate of 5.3 percent in the current year, which will have a positive impact on the oil and non-oil sector and curb inflation, according to a report released by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to the report, government spending will remain the main drive for the growth of the national economy.
The Saudi economy is well prepared to adapt to the current global economic slowdown, even in case the debt crisis in the euro zone remains out of control and brings recession back to global economy, the report said.
The report based its findings on a number of data in 2011: Imports of capital equipment were valued at SR 209.4 billion, nonoil exports stood at SR 175.5 billion, the number of productive factory plants was 5,043, total industrial loans cleared by the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) at SR 27.4 billion, Tadawul index at 6,418 points, value of awarded contracts at SR 156.5 billion, and oil production yielded SR 1.19 trillion.
According to these figures, imports of capital equipment increased by 21 percent compared with last year, whereas non-oil exports jumped by 48.7 percent, reflecting the growth of private sector firms. Likewise, the number of productive plants has increased by 6.3 percent compared with last year.
Total loans provided by the SIDF have also increased by 10.5 percent compared to last year, which, according to the report, will be reflected on the industrial output in particular, and on economic growth in general.
Tadawul index dropped by 3.1 percent compared to last year, where the capital market index normally reflects the investment environment from investors’ point of view, the report said.
Regarding construction contracts, the number of awarded projects increased by 46 percent compared with last year’s figures. Government spending will remain the major driver for the growth of the non-oil economy, as the private sector overwhelmingly depends on the volume of government spending in its activity, the report said.
Oil revenues increased by 37.6 percent compared with last year due to the increase of production and oil prices. The increase, in terms of production and prices, has correlated to Saudi economic growth in three elements: The oil sector constitutes the major part of the gross domestic product, it is the major source of revenues for the state budget, and Saudi Arabia enjoys a competitive edge at world level in the oil sector. The three elements are geared to boost confidence in the Saudi economy and push its growth, the report said.