ALBAWABA – The World Bank (WB) projected the non-oil sector in Saudi Arabia to grow by 4.7 percent in 2023, despite forecasts of a regional economic slowdown in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The slowdown is expected as a result of lower oil and gas returns, Arab News reported.
A contraction in hydrocarbon (oil-related) GDP is predicted at 1.3 percent in 2023, which is expected to weigh down on growth in GCC economies, the WB’s report explained.
GCC countries’ gross domestic product is estimated to grow by 2.5 percent in 2023 and 3.2 percent in 2024, as opposed to the 7.3 percent figure witnessed in 2022.
Nevertheless, GCC non-oil sector growth is expected to hit 4.6 percent in 2023 — backed by private consumption, fixed investments and looser fiscal policy, according to Arab News.
“Improvement to the business climate and competitiveness, and the overall improvements in female labor force participation in the GCC countries, especially in Saudi Arabia, have all paid off, the World Bank said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Further diversification efforts are still needed and are underway,” the statement said.
Following its 8.7 percent growth in 2022, Saudi Arabia’s GDP will reach 2.2 percent by the end of this year as the oil sector’s contribution to GDP is forecast to drop 2 percent.