RIYADH, 6 November – The global economy is facing one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history and the likelihood of a global recession has increased, according to a new report from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP).
Volatility continues to gather momentum, creating downward pressure in global markets including China, the EU, the UK, and the US. Despite a slowing economic growth outlook, Saudi Arabia registered a real GDP growth of 8.6% y/y in the third quarter of 2022. Inflation was also contained at 2.9%, one of the lowest rates among the G20 nations, according to the economic report issued by the MEP. The economic report will be published quarterly by the ministry to provide a regular, accurate and detailed update on the performance of both the global economy and the Kingdom’s local market.
Domestically, real non-oil GDP growth expanded by 5.9% following six consecutive quarters of growth, a run that stretches back to the first quarter of 2021. Manufacturing, wholesale, retail trade, restaurants and hotels, construction and transport were among the key contributors to the Kingdom’s non-oil GDP growth in the third quarter of 2022.
Despite persistent supply-chain bottlenecks clogging up global trade, the Kingdom’s trade balance climbed by 87% to SR72 billion in August 2022. Exports to China, Japan and the US increased, while India and South Korea doubled imports of Saudi Arabian goods year-on-year as the country deepens its critical role on the international stage.
“The Ministry of Economy and Planning’s first quarterly report is a milestone in our efforts to become more transparent by providing access to the latest data and statistics on the Kingdom’s economic performance,” said Faisal Alibrahim, Minister of Economy and Planning. “The report outlines our country’s strong economic performance, continued progress toward achieving Vision 2030 and drive to deliver sustainable diversification that remains pivotal to the long-term prosperity of our people and nation.”
He added: “Looking ahead, our growth prospects remain strong, and investors should be bullish about the near-term performance of the economy thanks to strong energy prices, non-oil growth, robust trade and the Kingdom’s growing ability to attract talent, tourism and investment. As we continue to catalyze greater flows of foreign direct investment in new areas including the broader energy transition and circular economy, we will add greater resilience to our economy at a time when the global economic landscape is affected by multiple crises.”
Covering eight categories, MEP’s quarterly economic report aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the economy across real GDP, monetary policy, fiscal measures, diversification, markets and business, households, investment and trade, and labor markets. Data comes from a variety of government sources including the General Authority for Statistics and the Saudi Central Bank. — Saudi Gazette