The gross domestic product (GDP) in Saudi Arabia registered a record growth in the last five years to reach SR2.66 trillion ($580 billion) in 2012 compared to SR1.95 trillion ($520 billion) in 2008, according to a government report.
The report, released by the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI), said GDP-per capita rose from SR76,000 ($20,200) to more than SR91,000 ($24,267).
The real GDP registered a growth rate of 5.1 percent in 2012 whereas the average growth rate during the last five years (2008-2012) stood at 6.3 percent, which is higher than economic growth rates prevailing in the GCC and G20 countries, the report said.
Director General of CDSI Muhanna bin Abdulkarim Al-Muhanna commented that share of the private sector to the GDP has considerably improved where it reached 57.6 percent during the last five years compared to 48.9 percent during the period between 2003 and 2007.
Share of the oil sector to the Kingdom’s GDP dropped from 29.5 percent to 22.2 percent in the two periods, which is a good indication that the Saudi economy has been increasingly supported by the private and nonoil sectors, he said.
The ratio of the Kingdom’s exports of nonoil goods to imports witnessed considerable improvement during the last five years, which increased from 28.2 percent in 2008 to 32.7 percent in 2012, he said.
Giving more details, the CDSI chief said the volume of nonoil exports increased by 57 percent to reach SR191 billion in 2012 compared to SR121.6 billion. During the same period, the value of imports climbed from SR431.8 billion to SR583.5 billion, or an increase of 35.1 percent, he said.
According to the report, the unemployment rates in the Kingdom registered a noticeable decline as a result of lower prices of energy and food as well as government policies to mitigate effects of global inflation in the Saudi economy when the average annual rate dropped from 4.4 percent in the period 2008-2011 to 2.9 percent in 2012 taking 2007 as the base year.
Compared to what the world witnessed during the year 2012, the Kingdom’s performance in curbing inflation was better off than the performance of the developing countries and G20 economies, the report said.
Saudi Arabia ranked 19th of the global economies in terms of the GDP size in 2012 compared to its previous position of 22nd rank in 2009. The Kingdom’s position progressed into the 30th rank globally in 2012 from its 41st rank in 2009 in terms of GDP-per capita, the report said.
In August, a banking report said Saudi nonoil economy is predicted to grow by 6 percent in 2013-2014 compared to 7.1 percent in 2012.
Real nonoil GDP growth averaged 8 percent per year between 2005 and 2012 compared to 5 percent between 2005 and 2011. The growth was driven by the strength in the industrial and service sectors, with the private sector (9 percent per year) leading the way, the report, released by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), said.
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