Saudi Economy to Grow at 2% This Year, Government Posts Large 1Q Surplus

Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor, Ahmed Al-Kholifey, told Reuters in an interview that he expects economic growth to be “no less than 2 percent” in 2019.

The comments from Al-Kholifey comes as a separate quarterly Reuters poll of economists found lowered expectations for growth in Arab Gulf economies this year.

Gross domestic product in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and the world’s top oil exporter, will grow 1.8 percent in 2019 and 2.2 percent in 2020, the poll of 23 economists projected, Reuters said.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia started the year with a quarterly budget surplus for the first time since the 2014 collapse in oil prices, Bloomberg reports. The Kingdom posted a surplus of 27.8 billion riyals ($7.4 billion) in the first quarter, according to Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan.

His comments were made at a Saudi investment summit taking place this week in Riyadh.