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Saudi Arabia GDP shrinks 1% in Q2

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Staff Writer | October 2, 2017
Saudi Arabia’s economy contracted for the second quarter in a row, as the kingdom grapples with low oil prices and its businesses struggle to cope with economic reforms.
Saudi Arabia street
Saudis   The second quarter in a row
The kingdom’s GDP shrank 1 percent from the same period a year earlier, when it expanded 0.9 percent, according to official data released on Saturday.

The economy contracted 0.5 percent in the first three months of this year.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is leading the push to transform the biggest Arab economy at a time when crude oil prices are at about half their 2014 peak.

However, as authorities seek to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil, they are also leading efforts among OPEC members and some other major producers to bolster prices by cutting output.

The kingdom’s oil GDP shrank 1.8 percent in the second quarter, weighing on overall activity.

The data also showed how non-oil industries are still struggling with efforts to overhaul the economy and shore up public finances.

The non-oil GDP, the main engine of job creation, expanded below 1 percent, driven mainly by the government sector, the data showed.