Saudi Arabia Economy

Is Saudi Arabia a rich country?

Saudi 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. Approximately 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.

In 2017, the Kingdom incurred a budget deficit estimated at 8.3% of GDP, which was 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 cut capital spending and reduced subsidies on electricity, water, and petroleum products and recently introduced a value-added tax of 5%. 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 health care, 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.

Saudi Arabia Economy Data

What is the GDP of Saudi Arabia?

Currency Name and Code Saudi Riyal (SAR)
GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $1,610,000,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $665,500,000,000 (USD)
GDP - real growth rate 3.4%
GDP Per Capita $54,600.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 2.3%
GDP by Sector- Industry 46.9%
GDP by Sector- services 50.8%
GDP - composition, by end use household 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%
Inflation Rate 5.7%
Labor Force 7,337,000
Labor Force By Occupation- agriculture 6.7%
Labor Force By Occupation- industry 21.4%
Labor Force By Occupation- services 71.9%
Unemployment Rate 10.8%
Unemployment - note data are for Saudi males only (local bank estimates; some estimates range as high as 25%)
Fiscal Year 1 March - 28 February
Annual Budget $185,100,000,000 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP 6.2%
Public Debt (% of GDP) 41%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 42.1%
Major Industries crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, cement, construction, fertilizer, plastics
Industrial Growth Rate 3.1%
Agriculture Products wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Exchange Rate per US Dollar Saudi riyal (SAR)
Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate 6.7%

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by Saudi Arabia

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