Saudi economic growth gets vote of confidence in IMF report

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. (SPA)
Updated 13 October 2018
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Saudi economic growth gets vote of confidence in IMF report

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

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.”


US’s Mnuchin talks about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh for talks with counterpart

Updated 21 October 2018
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US’s Mnuchin talks about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh for talks with counterpart

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 : US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible US sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.
Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
US President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis’ handling of the case.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem.
Mnuchin confirmed that he would not attend a Saudi investment conference on Tuesday. However, he said he would visit Riyadh as planned for talks with his counterpart on joint efforts to counter terrorist financing and plans by Washington to reimpose sanctions against Iran in November.
“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said.
The visit, he said, was necessary as Washington prepares to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
He said he had no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia would renege on commitments to make up for any shortfall in global oil supplies as Iranian oil exports are curbed under the sanctions.
“I have no reason to believe that they are not going to honor those commitments,” said Mnuchin, who will meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih while in Riyadh.