The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects real non-oil growth in Saudi Arabia to pick up in 2019 to 2.9% as government spending and confidence increase, according to reports, while real GDP growth is projected to slow to 1.9 percent as real oil growth slows to 0.7 percent with the implementation of the OPEC+ agreement.
The data was revealed in the IMF’s Executive Board’s statement on the 2019 Article IV consultation with Saudi Arabia. The Board “commended the Kingdom’s progress made in implementing its agenda on fiscal, economic and social reforms. The statement reported that the reforms have begun to yield fruitful results and the prospects for the economy are positive,” according to the Saudi Gazette.
Growth is expected to pick up over the medium-term as ongoing reforms take hold while the unemployment rate among Saudi nationals has moved down but remains high at 12.5 percent, the IMF said.
However, the IMF projects that increased government spending will cause the fiscal deficit to widen to 6.5 percent of GDP in 2019 from 5.9 percent of GDP in 2018.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance welcomed the International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board’s statement on the 2019 Article IV consultation with Saudi Arabia.
“The statement confirms that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in implementing economic and structural reforms that have started to yield good results and that the outlook for the economy is positive” said Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan.