5.7% growth in the Saudi economy this year


A Reuters poll of economists expected growth in Saudi Arabia to rise to 5.7% this year, noting that the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries would witness the fastest economic growth in years. If this level of growth is achieved in Saudi Arabia, it will be the fastest growth rate since 2012, when oil prices averaged about $111 a barrel. According to “Reuters”, oil prices, which are one of the main factors driving the economy of the Gulf states, rose to their highest levels since 2014 last Wednesday, supported by escalating global political tensions in major producing countries, including the UAE and Russia, which may lead to a decline in supplies. Twenty-five economists in the poll, which was conducted from January 11 to 19, expected that the six countries would witness faster growth this year than was expected three months ago. Saudi Arabia topped the list of expectations with a growth of 5.7%, followed by Kuwait and the UAE with a growth of 5.3 and 4.8%, respectively. Qatar, Oman and Bahrain are expected to see average growth between 3.0 and 4.0% in 2022. “Despite the relatively tight fiscal policy and some external winds, we expect the GCC economies to witness Gulf Cooperation Council will grow faster in 2022 as it continues to benefit from the progress achieved in the past year.” Inflation is expected to remain between 2.0 and 2.8% this year. Reliance on energy prices accompanies the risk that the economic recovery will be negatively affected by any price turmoil due to geopolitical tensions or the global economic slowdown. Nine out of ten economists who answered an additional question said that any drop in oil prices and the emergence of new mutations from the Corona virus are the biggest risks to economic growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council this year.

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