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.”


Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

Updated 20 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

  • The journalist died after a fistfight at the consulate in Istanbul
  • Deputy intelligence chief, royal court adviser removed from positions, 18 Saudis arrested

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the death of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying a preliminary investigation indicated he lost his life after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.
Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing, the public prosecutor said.
“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice,” a statement on the SPA said.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
Deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Asiri was removed from his position and Saud Al-Qahtani from his advisory role at the Royal Court, through royal decrees.
Three other intelligence officials who were also sacked have been named as Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya and Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.
King Salman also ordered the creation of a ministerial committee, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to restructure the country’s General Intelligence agency and issue the results of its work within a month.
Members of the committee include the interior and foreign ministers as well as the heads of the General Intelligence and State Security.
A team of Saudi investigators were sent to Istanbul and have been working on the case with Turkish detectives, who entered the consulate on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia promised a thorough and transparent investigation into what happened to the journalist in Turkey.