Middle East

Saudi economic growth gets vote of confidence in IMF report

Author: Fri, 2018-10-12 07:29

JEDDAH: The International Monetary Fund has published its latest World Economic Outlook report, which will be discussed during the IMF and World Bank annual meetings to be held in Bali, Indonesia, from October 12 to 14.

The report reveals a decrease in global growth projections and reductions in growth estimates for most developed and emerging economies during 2018 and 2019.

Saudi output, however, is projected to increase by 2.2 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in 2019.

Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, the Saudi minister of finance, said that the IMF's updated forecasts for Saudi growth offer proof of the effectiveness and positive impact of economic reforms and fiscal measures implemented by the government in accordance with the Fiscal Balance Program and Vision 2030.

He added that the public-finance strategy will reduce deficit rates, enhance sustainability, develop social-spending habits, modernize infrastructure, stimulate the private sector and develop the services sector to support economic growth and employment in the medium term.

“Although the oil-production surge has boosted the economic-growth estimates, the non-oil gross domestic product growth continues to recover in the medium term,” Al-Jadaan said. “Preliminary economic data indicate the Saudi progress.”

GDP grew by 1.4 percent in first half of 2018, compared with 0.8 percent reduction during the same period the previous year, due to a non-oil GDP recovery of 2.0 percent in 2018 compared with 0.1 percent a year earlier. The Ministry of Finance forecasts annual real GDP growth to reach 2.3 percent in 2019. The structural economic reforms are expected to boost growth in the medium and long term.”

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