The Oxford Business Group (OBG) has launched a new research series that examines attitudes of top CEOs in Saudi Arabia.
OBG, which publishes investment and economic reports on more than 30 countries including emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America.
“It’s not difficult to conclude that for the Gulf region’s largest economy the past two years have been far from easy,” writes Oliver Cornock, who is managing editor for OBG Middle East. “What many analysts are now terming the new normal for oil prices – somewhere between $50-60 per barrel – has had a dramatic impact on Saudi Arabia’s fiscal position. But what impact is this having on business sentiment in the Kingdom?”
According to a blog post by Cornock, which detailed some of the findings, of the CEOs who OBG surveyed, 70% said that they expected business conditions to be positive over the next 12 months, while 24% felt the outlook was negative.
“In many senses it’s this aspect of sentiment that matters most – the overarching feeling people have toward the environment. This will no doubt have been helped by higher than budgeted oil prices and therefore a better fiscal outlook, the government settling delayed payments to contractors and the positive feeling the NTP and Vision 2030 have instilled,” Cornock writes. “The budget surpluses of the boom years are but a fleeting memory, and seemingly endless government spending has given way to austerity measures. But as OBG’s Business Barometer: Saudi Arabia shows, it’s far from all doom and gloom, not least because as we have seen across the GCC states, the private sector is far less reliant on government spending than is commonly thought.”
OBG has been studying and publishing on emerging economies since 1994, with top industry analysts conducting on-the-ground research throughout the year.
[Graphic via OBG]