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Saudi Arabia’s economy to grow by 2.8 percent amid record-high oil prices: IMF

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its 2022 forecast for Saudi Arabia, suggesting that the Kingdom’s economy is set to grow by more than two-fold amid a record-high surge in oil prices.

The IMF’s latest report released on Tuesday, entitled ‘World Economic Outlook: War sets back the global recovery,’ said that it revised its 2022 economic forecast for Saudi Arabia, anticipating a 2.8 percent growth, “reflecting higher oil productions in line with the OPEC+ agreement, reinforced by strong-than-anticipated growth in the non-oil sector.”

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The Fund’s baseline fiscal projections are primarily based on its understanding of government policies as outlined in the 2022 budget, the report stated, adding that export oil revenues are based on World Economic Outlook baseline oil price assumptions and their understanding of current oil policy under the OPEC+ agreement.

Their monetary projections for the Kingdom were based on the continuation of the exchange rate peg to the US dollar currency.

While the IMF raised Saudi Arabia’s economic forecast for this year, it expects the GDP to fall to 3.6 percent next year. It increased this figure from an earlier estimate of 2.8 percent.

“We raised our estimates of the growth rate of the Saudi economy by 2.8 percentage points, which reflects the increase in oil production in accordance with the OPEC+ agreement, in conjunction with the more non-oil output growth exceeding expectations,” according to the report.

The report also outlined that the Middle East and Central Asia’s collective GDP is expected to grow by 4.6 percent throughout 2022, but also noted that the regions were “highly exposed to global food prices, particularly the price of wheat, which is expected to remain high throughout the year and into 2023.

“In the Middle East and North Africa, spillovers from tighter global financial conditions, reduced tourism, and secondary demand spillovers (for example, from Europe) will also hold back growth, especially for oil importers. For oil exporters, higher fossil fuel prices may provide some offsetting gains,” the IMF report suggested.

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