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Saudi Arabia Economy Profile 2016

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Economy - overviewSaudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses about 16% of the world's proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 87% of budget revenues, 42% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings.

Saudi Arabia is encouraging the growth of the private sector in order to diversify its economy and to employ more Saudi nationals. Over 6 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, particularly in the oil and service sectors; at the same time, however, Riyadh is struggling to reduce unemployment among its own nationals. Saudi officials are particularly focused on employing its large youth population, which generally lacks the education and technical skills the private sector needs.

In 2015, the Kingdom incurred a budget deficit estimated at 13% of GDP, and it faces a deficit of $87 billion in 2016, which will be financed by bond sales and drawing down reserves. Although the Kingdom can finance high deficits for several years by drawing down its considerable foreign assets or by borrowing, it has announced plans to cut capital spending in 2016. Some of these plans to cut deficits include introducing a value-added tax and reducing subsidies on electricity, water, and petroleum products. In January 2016, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN announced that Saudi Arabia intends to list shares of its state-owned petroleum company, ARAMCO - another move to increase revenue and outside investment. The government has also looked at privatization and diversification of the economy more closely in the wake of a diminished oil market. Historically, Saudi Arabia has focused diversification efforts on power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration, and petrochemical sectors. More recently, the government has approached investors about expanding the role of the private sector in the healthcare, education and tourism industries. While Saudi Arabia has emphasized their goals of diversification for some time, current low oil prices may force the government to make more drastic changes ahead of their long-run timeline.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.683 trillion (2015 est.)
$1.628 trillion (2014 est.)
$1.571 trillion (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$653.2 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3.4% (2015 est.)
3.6% (2014 est.)
2.7% (2013 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$53,600 (2015 est.)
$52,900 (2014 est.)
$52,400 (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
Gross national saving21.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
38.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
44.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 38.3%
government consumption: 31%
investment in fixed capital: 29.3%
investment in inventories: 4%
exports of goods and services: 35%
imports of goods and services: -37.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 2.3%
industry: 46.9%
services: 50.8% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force11.67 million
note: about 80% of the labor force is non-national (2015 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 6.7%
industry: 21.4%
services: 71.9% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate11.4% (2015 est.)
11.6% (2014 est.)
note: data are for Saudi males only (local bank estimates; some estimates are as high as 25%)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 30.4%
male: 21.4%
female: 57.9% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index45.9 (2013 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $193 billion
expenditures: $318 billion (2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues28.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-18.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
Public debt7.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
9.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.2% (2015 est.)
2.7% (2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate2.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate6.7% (31 December 2015 est.)
6.8% (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of narrow money$341.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$304.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of broad money$513.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$461.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$24 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
-$38.16 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$373.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$338.9 billion (31 December 2011)
$353.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Industriescrude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics, metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction
Industrial production growth rate2.8% (2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$41.48 billion (2015 est.)
$73.76 billion (2014 est.)
Exports$224.6 billion (2015 est.)
$342.3 billion (2014 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products 90% (2012 est.)
Exports - partnersChina 13.1%, Japan 10.9%, US 9.6%, India 9.6%, South Korea 8.5% (2015)
Imports$156.9 billion (2015 est.)
$158.5 billion (2014 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
Imports - partnersChina 13.9%, US 12.6%, Germany 7.1%, South Korea 6.1%, India 4.5%, Japan 4.4%, UK 4.3% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$660.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$732.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Debt - external$166.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$155.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$250.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$242.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$37.32 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$32.46 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Exchange ratesSaudi riyals (SAR) per US dollar -
3.75 (2015 est.)
3.75 (2014 est.)
3.75 (2013 est.)
3.75 (2012 est.)
3.75 (2011 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on October 8, 2016

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