Saudi growth will top 4.4pc says minister
Riyadh, May 29, 2013
Saudi Arabia's economy should grow this year by more than the 4.4 percent anticipated by the International Monetary Fund, its finance minister said in comments reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.
"The IMF report this year on the Saudi economic growth forecast 4.4 percent. We do not agree with them and our opinion is that the kingdom's economic growth will be higher," SPA reported Ibrahim Alassaf as saying.
Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product rose 6.8 percent last year after growing 8.5 percent in 2011.
Growth in the world's top oil exporter is typically connected to energy prices and government spending, which have this year remained strong.
Meanwhile, Standard & Poor's (S&P) has revised its outlook on the long-term sovereign credit ratings on Saudi Arabia to positive from stable owing to its view that the kingdom's economy expanded strongly and steadily during 2005-2012.
The US ratings agency pointed out that the growth fundamentals have strengthened in Saudi Arabia with real per capita GDP growth averaging 3.1 per cent.
In its review, S&P said: "The outlook revision reflects our opinion that we could upgrade Saudi Arabia during the next 24 months if economic growth remains strong. In our view, continued growth would help to reduce the country's social challenges, including unemployment, and enhance productivity and competitiveness." - Reuters and TradeArabia News Service