CAIRO: Food and drink sales helped drive a 23 percent rise in point-of-sale transactions in Saudi Arabia in the week ending Oct. 1, the latest weekly data from the Saudi Central Bank revealed.
Sales grew by SR2.4 billion ($640 billion) last week to reach SR12.8 billion in what was the highest percentage rise since the week ending July 30.
POS is an economic term used to describe what is spent by consumers using their ATMs and credit cards in retail stores, shopping malls, and pharmacies, among others.
This five-week peak fell just below SR13.5 billion worth of POS transactions recorded in the week ending on Sept. 3, showed the SAMA data.
This spike was mainly driven by increased spending on food and beverage services, with the sector’s total POS transaction rising by SR681.3 million to reach SR2.1 billion in the week ending on Oct. 1, recording 47.9 percent growth over the previous week.
Of the 17 sectors, 16 saw a rise in the value of POS transactions:
Other — Up SR382.3 million; up SR1.2 million previous week
Miscellaneous goods and services — Up SR342.9 million; down SR4.9 million last week
Health — Up SR219.6 million; down SR7.6 million previous week
Transportation — Up SR164.3 million; down SR30.7 million previous week
Gas stations — Up SR102.3 million; down SR26.1 million last week
The education sector witnessed the biggest percentage change in the week ending on Oct. 1 in both transaction value and number of transactions.
The sector’s POS transaction value went up by 115.6 percent to reach SR184 million, while the number of POS transactions went up by 51.9 percent to hit 170,000.
The only sector that recorded less POS transactions – both in number and value – in that week was the hotels.
This sector’s POS value dropped by SR23.2 million to reach SR215.9 million, while the number of transactions dropped by 42,000 to reach 562,000 transactions.
With regards to the number of POS transactions, food and beverages also led the way with an increase of 4.4 million transactions in that week to reach 37.2 million transactions.
Restaurants and cafes — Up 3.7 million; down 0.5 million previous week
Miscellaneous goods and services — Up 2.9 million; down 0.9 million previous week
Other— Up 2.6 million; down 0.4 million previous week
Health — Up 1.6 million; down 0.5 million previous week
Gas stations — Up 1 million; down 0.4 million previous week
The city of Riyadh, which records the largest share of POS transactions, saw a 11.4 percent increase in the number of transactions in the week ending Oct. 1, compared to a 3.1 percent fall the week prior.
The city witnessed a 20.2 percent rise in POS transaction value in the week ending Oct. 1, compared to only 0.3 percent the previous week.
The Kingdom’s capital recorded a total POS value of SR4 billion, up by SR1 billion from the week before.
As for the number of POS transactions in Riyadh, it rose by 7.7 million from the previous week, reaching 57.6 million in the week ending on Oct. 1.
Jeddah followed with SR1.9 billion worth of POS transitions which increased by SR253.8 million in the week ending on Oct. 1.
The number of transactions in the city reached 21.9 million, up 1 million from the week before.