BENGALURU: Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter and the region's economic and political heavyweight, will see 5.1% economic growth next year after a modest 2.3% expansion this year and a sharp 4.1% contraction last year, according to a Reuters' economists poll.
That was an upgrade from the July Reuters poll and higher than the International Monetary Fund's 4.8% forecast for 2022, Reuters said.
Economies in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council will grow faster next year than previously thought, according to a Reuters poll of economists who warned a decline in oil and gas prices was the biggest risk to their outlook.
The oil-rich region will benefit from an increased COVID-19 vaccination rate, rising oil prices and easing of lockdown restrictions this year and next, the poll suggested.
But while these may lift short-term economic prospects, they are vulnerable to the region's high reliance on global oil demand amid an economic slowdown in China, the world's largest crude importer.
Still, the Oct. 8-20 Reuters poll of 21 economists forecast an improvement in the economic fortunes of most oil-exporting nations after they were battered by the pandemic and the record collapse in oil prices last year.