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Saudi Arabia has been one of the best performing G20 economies in recent years with real GDP growth averaging 5.9% year-on-year during 2008-13 with government revenues and expenditures are expected to be $228 billion and GDP of $27,040 billion in 2014. Saudi Arabia leads the world in the production of crude oil, producing some 11.5 million barrels per day in 2014. Given slowdown in oil sector, the economic growth has eased to annual 3.8% in the second quarter of 2014. Going forward the economic outlook in Saudi Arabia remains favorable with growth above 4% is expected in 2015, led by government spending and robust private sector activity. Inflation is likely to remain subdued at around 3%, while on the other hand debt-to-GDP is expected to remain low at 10% given continous strong fiscal and current account surpluses.
Saudi Arabia has been successful in its attempt to grow non-oil sectors, resulting in non-oil growth of a robust 5% year-on-year in 2013 as consecutive years of elevated government spending lifted business and consumer confidence and banks’ comfort in lending. The fastest growing sectors in 2013 were construction (8.1%), transport and communication (7.2%), as well as retail sector (6.1%). Non-oil private sector is expected to be the key driver of growth in 2014. The August 2014 headline PMI (non-oil private sector economy) at 60.7 was at its highest level since July 2011.
Looking forward the country non-oil sectors are expected to develop further particularly that the budget includes substantial additional outlays for education, health and infrastructure.
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