Bloomberg News

Saudi Arabia’s Economy Grew 6.6 Percent in Fourth Quarter

April 11, 2012

Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product expanded 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier on additional government spending and higher oil prices.

The government sector grew by 3.6 percent and the private sector by 9.9 percent, the Central Department of Statistics and Information in Riyadh said on its website today. The oil industry expanded by 6.1 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s economy benefited last year from a 23 percent increase in government spending as the kingdom’s rulers sought to create jobs and build houses in order to avert the kind of popular uprising that swept other Middle Eastern countries.

The government’s allocation of an additional 224 billion riyals ($60 billion) was backed by oil prices that averaged $95 a barrel last year, up from $80 in 2010. The economy’s 6.8 percent full-year growth in 2011 was the fastest in eight years. Growth will probably slow to 3.8 percent this year on lower oil output, according to the median estimate of 13 economists compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Glen Carey in Riyadh at gcarey8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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