Saudi economy to top $1bn for first time, IMF says – Middle East Monitor

Saudi Arabia’s economy is expected to surpass $1 trillion by the end of the year for the first time in the kingdom’s history, according to recent forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Last month, amid soaring oil prices, the IMF revised its economic forecast for Saudi Arabia, anticipating growth of 2.8%.

“We raised our estimate for the growth rate of the Saudi economy by 2.8 percentage points, reflecting the increase in oil production in line with the OPEC+ agreement, in conjunction with a growth in the non-oil production above expectations,” the report titled ‘World Economic Outlook: War holding back global recovery‘.

A report of Bloomberg earlier this month, citing Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics, suggested the kingdom’s GDP grew 9.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, with the highest quarterly growth rate since 2011.

READ: UK paid $74m in alleged bribes to Saudi Arabia to secure lucrative arms deal

Saudi Arabia is notable for being the only G20 country for which the IMF has raised its forecast. The IMF report also noted that the war in Ukraine has slowed economic recovery, with the conflict contributing to a significant slowdown in global growth this year in addition to inflation.

While much of the Middle East and North Africa region will be affected by the conflict in Ukraine in terms of food prices, especially wheat, oil-exporting countries like Saudi Arabia will benefit from higher energy prices.

Separately, oil giant Saudi Aramco briefly became the world’s most valuable company as its shares soared to a market capitalization of $2.463 billion today. The recent stock move means the company is now the second-largest company by market capitalization after Apple.

READ: Saudi Arabia aims for 70 million tourist visits this year

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