Saudi Arabia Macroeconomic Developments
- Weekly point-of-sale transactions declined 3.4 percent during the week ending August 14, totaling SAR8.7 billion ($2.3 billion). However, the number of individual transactions remained over 100,000 for the third straight week. Consumer spending on electronics (-11.8 percent) and hotels (-9.4 percent) posted the biggest declines while education (+56.1 percent) saw a sizable increase.
- The Ministry of Finance closed its August 2021 issuance under the riyal-denominated sukuk program. The three-tranche issuance was set at a total size of SAR11.4 billion ($3 billion). The first tranche of SAR2.5 billion ($667 million) matures in 2029, the second tranche of SAR4.5 billion ($1.2 billion) matures in 2033, and the third tranche of SAR4.4 billion ($1.16 billion) matures in 2036.
- Saudi Arabia is reportedly seeking free trade agreements with eleven countries including the U.S., according to a circular issued by the Federation of Saudi Chambers. The Kingdom plans to resume negotiations with select countries in a bid to boost its non-oil exports. Other nations being sought by Saudi Arabia for free trade agreements include China, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, and Australia.