Saudi Arabia on track for 1.9% GDP growth

Saudi Arabia on track for 1.9% GDP growth
The central bank's foreign currency reserves have been boosted in recent months. (AFP)
Updated 16 September 2018

Saudi Arabia on track for 1.9% GDP growth

Saudi Arabia on track for 1.9% GDP growth
  • Ahmed Al-Kholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, says IMF growth target is achievable
  • SAMA also said its foreign reserves have been increasing this year

LONDON: Saudi Arabia's economy can achieve an International Monetary Fund forecast of 1.9 percent gross domestic product growth this year, the central bank governor said on Sunday.

The IMF said last month that growth in the non-oil sector was expected to accelerate as the Kingdom moved ahead with economic reforms.

Ahmed Al-Kholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), made the comments during a press conference in Riyadh.

SAMA also said its foreign reserves have been increasing this year and a large proportion of recent capital outflows had been due to foreign investment by other Saudi institutions, Reuters reported.

Ayman bin Mohammed Al-Sayari, deputy governor for investment, said the foreign reserves increased last month to $509-510 billion at the end of August from $502 billion in July.

Al-Sayari said Saudi institutional investors were coming to the central bank to exchange their local currency for hard currency that would be used to invest abroad.

“A lot of the capital flows or at least a considerable portion of that...figure was merely some other institutional investors, quasi-sovereign, who have elected to...invest more internationally than locally," he told the news conference.

This pattern was seen in the first two quarters of the year, he said.

Brent oil has jumped near $80 a barrel from $67 at the end of 2017, swelling Saudi Arabia's current account surplus and shrinking its state budget deficit


Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan
Updated 45 min 51 sec ago

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan
  • The bank expects economic growth of 6.6% in 2021
  • Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday

Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group raised their U.S. growth forecast for the second time this month on expectations that President-elect Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus plan will hasten the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank expects economic growth of 6.6% in 2021, compared with a previous forecast of 6.4%, according to a report published on Saturday. It also raised forecasts for how much stimulus the new administration will be able to push through in the near-term, to $1.1 trillion from $750 billion.
Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines to bring the coronavirus under control.
“Larger boosts to disposable income and government spending imply stronger growth later in the year,” the bank’s analysts wrote.