Saudi Arabia’s economy grew 1.66 percent in the first quarter, in line with expectations of a modest pick up as oil production cuts weigh on the world’s top crude exporter.
The Saudi oil sector grew 1 percent in the first quarter, government data showed on Sunday.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its Russia-led allies agreed in December to slash oil production by more than the market had expected.
On Sunday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the cuts would most likely be extended by nine months.
This is expected to weigh on oil sector growth this year, while non-oil sector growth is likely to pick up slightly, on the back of a boost in government spending.
Non-oil sector growth in the first quarter was 2.13 percent, largely in line with the same period last year, but up from a 1.8 percent growth in last year’s fourth quarter.
Non-oil activity picked up particularly in the private sector, which saw a growth of 2.3 percent.
The IMF said last month real non-oil growth is expected to strengthen to 2.9 percent in 2019, boosting overall economic growth to 1.9 percent, higher than its earlier projection of 1.8 percent.
Saudi Arabia’s economy grows 1.66 percent in Q1