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SAMA governor: Real GDP growth of 1.7% during 2016

Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Governor Dr. Ahmed Al-Khulaifi speaks at a press conference at the SAMA headquarters in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
JEDDAH: The governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) said that data show real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.7 percent during 2016 compared to a growth rate of 3.5 percent in the previous year.
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Governor Dr. Ahmed Al-Khulaifi held a press conference on Wednesday at SAMA headquarters in Riyadh to highlight its 53rd annual report. During the conference, he reviewed the contents of the report.
“In terms of GDP growth by main economic activities in 2016, data show that growth in the manufacturing sector reached 3.9 percent. In the transport, storage and communications sector it reached 2.8 percent, while the electricity, gas and water sector reached 2.3 percent,” he said.
According to the data of the General Organization for Statistics, private consumption expenditure exceeded SR1 trillion ($266.7 billion) in 2016 (an increase of 5 percent over the year 2015). However, private consumption expenditure per capita increased 4 percent over the year 2015, he added.
With regard to price levels during 2016, the general cost of living index for the whole population increased by 3.5 percent compared to the previous year.
In regard to the external sector, he revealed that the current account recorded a deficit of SR103.3 billion in 2016 compared to a deficit of SR212.7 billion in the previous year, a decrease of 51.4 percent.
For the most important indicators for 2017, he revealed that the broad money supply (M3) achieved an increase of 2.4 percent at the end of August 2017 to reach SR1.795 billion compared to a decrease of 2.5 percent in August of the previous year.
The bank’s liabilities from the private sector in August of 2017 decreased by 1 percent to reach about SR1,422.3 billion compared to a rise of 7.5 percent in August of the previous year.
The total foreign assets of commercial banks in the first eight months of 2017 increased by 4.2 percent to reach SR235.3 billion.
Al-Khulaifi also said that deposits with banks increased by 2.6 percent (SR1,619 billion) in August 2017 compared to a decrease of 2.8 percent in August last year. The reserve assets stood at SR1,828.7 billion at the end of August 2017.
The general cost of living index in August 2017 decreased by 0.1 percent compared to an increase of 3.3 percent in the same period of the previous year.
Dr. Al-Khulaifi revealed that preliminary figures indicate a surplus in the current account balance of payments of the Kingdom during the first half of 2017 to reach about SR29.3 billion compared to a deficit of SR102.7 billion in the corresponding half of the previous year.

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