RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank Gov. Fahad Al-Mubarak said in a conference on Sunday that inflation in the Kingdom is still within a reasonable rate.
Saudi Arabia’s consumer price index rose 3 percent in August from a year earlier, official data showed on Thursday, accelerating from a 2.7 percent increase in July.
He said the Kingdom’s economy continued to maintain a high growth rate as figures for the second quarter showed a real gross domestic product growth of 11.8 percent on an annual basis.
Al-Mubarak was speaking at the 46th ordinary session of the Council of Arab Central Banks and Monetary Authorities Governors that began in Jeddah. The two-day meeting of the Arab central bank chiefs also seeks to discuss central bank digital currencies and the future of the monetary system.
The SAMA chief said the general unemployment rate continued to decline in Saudi Arabia, reaching 6 percent during the first quarter of 2022, and the unemployment rate among Saudis also continued to drop reaching 10.1 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Marwan Al-Abbasi, governor of the Tunisian Central Bank, expressed concern over the uncertain global economic conditions resulting in “rapidly rising prices of basic commodities, fluctuations in global supply chains and inflation.”
He said these developments call for a reassessment of the global economic situation by slashing the global economic growth outlook for 2022 to about 3.2 percent.
The Tunisian top banker said the Arab countries need to make extensive efforts to help meet the challenges in the short and medium terms.
As per the estimates of the Arab Monetary Fund, Arab economies are expected to achieve a growth rate of 5.4 percent in 2022 compared to 3.5 percent in 2021, said the fund’s chairman of the board of directors, Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Hamidy.
He said the growth is expected to be driven by “relative improvement in global demand levels, the growth of oil and gas sector” and the stimulus packages approved by governments in the Arab world.
Senior officials from the International Monetary Fund, the Financial Stability Board and international experts attended the meeting.