IMF Lifts Saudi Economic Growth Forecast for 2018, 2019

Washington, MINA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday predicted increased growth for Saudi Arabia’s economy on the back of higher oil production.

In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF lifted its projections for economic growth in Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest economy, and its oil-rich neighbors in the Gulf.

It said the Saudi economy, which contracted by 0.9 percent last year, is expected to grow by 2.2 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent next year, raising previous projections by 0.5 percent, UNA reported.

The growth is being “driven by a pickup in non-oil economic activity and a projected increase in crude oil production in line” agreed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and independent producers, the IMF said.

Oil prices, which account for about 80 percent of Saudi public income, have increased by more than 70 percent since June last year to over $80 a barrel.

The London-based Capital Economics think-tank said last week that revenues of Saudi Arabia and the five other Gulf states are expected to rise by $200 billion this year compared to 2017 due to high oil prices and output.(R/R04/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)