Saudi: Q2 collapse to be followed by weak recovery

Our GDP Tracker suggests that the Saudi economy held up relatively well in Q1, but more timely low-profile data point to a collapse in activity in Q2. And, as lockdown measures are eased, the onset of fiscal austerity will hold back the economic recovery.
Jason Tuvey Senior Emerging Markets Economist
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Middle East Economics Weekly

Oil prices, UAE drone attack, Gulf monetary tightening

The recent upwards revision to our oil price forecast means that the window for looser fiscal policy in the Gulf will remain open for a little longer than we anticipated. One of the factors driving oil higher this week was the Houthi drone strike in the UAE, which highlighted the risks to the Emirates’ recovery – particularly the tourism sector. Finally, central banks in the Gulf will have to follow the Fed in tightening monetary policy – which now seems likely to start in March. That will add a headwind to non-oil sectors.

20 January 2022

Middle East Economics Weekly

Oil and Gulf fiscal policy, Egypt joins GBI-EM, Tunisia

We think that the recent rally in oil prices is likely to be short lived and, as prices fall back, the window for governments in the Gulf to loosen fiscal policy will shut. Elsewhere, Egypt’s inclusion in JP Morgan’s GBI-EM bond index at the end of the month could boost capital inflows, but also cause external imbalances to increase. Finally, despite some support from Saudi Arabia this week, the Tunisian government will still need to pass much-needed fiscal consolidation to repair its balance sheets. Otherwise, it will continue to edge closer to a sovereign default.

13 January 2022

Middle East Data Response

Saudi Arabia Consumer Prices (Dec.)

Saudi inflation edged up to 1.2% y/y in December and we think that the headline rate will drift a little higher over the first half of this year before stabilising at around 1.0-1.5% over the rest of 2022 and 2023. Drop-In: Neil Shearing will host an online panel of our senior economists to answer your questions and update on macro and markets this Thursday, 13th January (11:00 ET/16:00 GMT). Register for the latest on everything from Omicron to the Fed to our key calls for 2022. Registration here.

13 January 2022

More from Jason Tuvey

Middle East Economics Update

Iran: nuclear deal, elections and the economy

Negotiators appear to be closing in on an agreement to revive Iran’s nuclear deal which, if revitalised, would provide a substantial lift to Iran’s economy – it could plausibly expand by 8-10% per year in 2021-23. Higher Iranian oil output would act as a drag on global oil prices and could prompt governments in the Gulf countries to keep fiscal policy tight, weighing on their recoveries.

7 June 2021

Emerging Europe Economics Weekly

Erdogan piles on the pressure, Israel’s surprise coalition

Talk this week of rate cuts in Turkey has led to further falls in the lira and, ironically, means that the central bank will stand pat at this month's MPC meeting. In Israel, the coalition proposal formed to topple incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu is so fractured we don't think it will lead to major changes in economic policy. Finally, the announcement by Russia's government to de-dollarise its National Wealth Fund assets won't have an economic impact, but it is a clear move ahead of the Biden-Putin summit this month that Russia sees its future as isolated from the West.

4 June 2021

Emerging Europe Data Response

Turkey Consumer Prices (May)

The latest falls in the lira mean that, despite the fall in Turkey’s headline inflation rate to 16.6% y/y last month, the central bank (CBRT)will probably leave interest rates unchanged at this month’s MPC meeting. But the CBRT is likely to fulfil the president’s desire for monetary loosening by August.

3 June 2021
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