Saudi Economic Data for February Paints Another ‘Mixed Picture’

Saudi Arabia’s economic data for the month of February 2017 showed a mixed picture for the Kingdom, with foreign reserves falling to $514 billion in February, the lowest since August 2011.

The latest Jadwa Investment monthly chartbook for February finds cash withdrawals from ATMs and POS transactions showed a downward trend, but non-oil PMI was up.

In February, the net monthly change to government accounts with SAMA came out negative, falling by SR15 billion. Domestic bank holdings of government bonds were minimal in February, and are expected to remain as such in the month ahead.

Foreign Reserves as of February 2017.

Foreign Reserves as of February 2017.

On the positive side, full year 2016 data showed the Kingdom’s current account improved from -$57 billion in 2015 to -$25 billion in 2016, mainly owing to a fall in imports, Jadwa said.

In February, deflation continued for the second consecutive month to reach -0.1 percent, up from -0.4 percent in January.

Saudi Arabia posted its first rise in non-oil exports for eight months in January, according to latest data released by the country’s Central Department of Statistics and Information.

The value of Saudi Arabia’s imports shrank 11.6 percent to SR43.2 billion from a year earlier in January while non-oil exports rose by 10.3 percent to more than SR14 billion over the same period.

[Click here to read the full Jadwa Investment February 2017 Chartbook in English] [In Arabic]