Saudi Arabia’s slowdown extends into Q2

Our GDP Tracker suggests that Saudi Arabia’s economy slowed further at the start of Q2 as the drag from the oil sector intensified and the recent pick-up in the non-oil sector started to peter out. We expect growth to slip further over the rest of this year and our forecasts lie below the consensus.
Virag Forizs Emerging Markets Economist
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Middle East Economics Update

Central Bank of Egypt keeps rates on hold for now

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept interest rates unchanged at Thursday’s MPC meeting amid rising price pressures. However, we still think that inflation will slow in the final months of this year and re-open the door for the CBE to resume its easing cycle.

17 September 2021

Middle East Economics Weekly

Lebanon finally gets a government, Saudi education plans

The news that Lebanon finally formed a new government this week came as welcome relief amid the country’s economic, political and humanitarian crises. But there are still plenty of big hurdles to clear before the country emerges from its crisis. Elsewhere, the Saudi government is set to launch reform of the Kingdom’s education sector – an area of Vision 2030 we have long argued had been lagging.

16 September 2021

Middle East Economics Update

Jordan’s public finances a cause for concern

Jordan’s public finances deteriorated sharply last year and fiscal consolidation is needed to put the debt position back on a sustainable footing. Sticking to austerity may prove difficult given the economic and political backdrop and the composition of Jordan’s debt is also a cause for concern. But the likelihood of financial support from the Gulf and Western allies mitigates the near-term risk of default.

15 September 2021

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Africa Data Response

South Africa Manufacturing PMI (May)

The rise in South Africa’s manufacturing PMI in May points to an improvement in underlying economic conditions in the sector, but we think that the recovery will  be held back by key headwinds including another virus surge, slow vaccine rollout, power cuts and austerity.

1 June 2021

Africa Economics Weekly

Naira devalued for real, utility deals in Ethiopia & SA

Policymakers in Nigeria appear to have bowed to pressure to devalue the official exchange rate, which will probably improve the public finances and help unlock multilateral financing. That said, a unified and fairly valued naira is unlikely to follow any time soon. Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s ambitious reform agenda seems to be faltering on nearly all fronts. In South Africa, troubled electricity provider Eskom was a source of good news this week for a change, but power cuts are likely to remain a threat to the economic outlook.

28 May 2021

Africa Economics Update

CBN keeps inflation-fighting tools on the shelf

Policymakers in Nigeria kept their benchmark rate on hold at 11.50% at today’s MPC meeting, opting to emphasise the fragile nature of the economic recovery over elevated inflation. With price pressures likely to ease, we think that monetary policy settings will remain unchanged over our forecast horizon.

25 May 2021
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