Saudi economy to return to positive growth this year

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Dubai

The Saudi economy is forecast to return to positive growth this year and the fiscal deficit will narrow as the global economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, S&P Global Ratings said as it affirmed the Kingdom’s credit rating at “A-/A-2” with a stable outlook.

Saudi Arabia’s real GDP growth is expected to average 2.3 percent from 2021 to 2024, the report said, adding its rating was supported by a strong net asset position on both its fiscal and external balances.

The Covid-19 pandemic as well as dwindling oil prices and demand led to a sharp contraction for the Saudi economy in 2020, but a strengthening global economy and higher oil prices will support the Kingdom’s growth this year, S&P said.

“Both crude and exports such as plastic and petrochemicals will benefit from a rebound in global demand, especially from China and the US,” it said.—AN