SAUDI ARABIAN MARKET
Saudi Arabia Macroeconomic Developments
• Saudi Arabia’s unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent in Q3 2020 from 9 percent in Q2 as some employees returned to jobs temporarily lost due to coronavirus-related lockdowns. The unemployment rate of Saudi nationals also fell from 15.4 percent in Q2 to 14.9 percent in Q3, reflecting the continued strain of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market. By comparison, Saudi employment stood at 11.8 percent in Q1 2020.
• Saudi Arabia’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries increased SAR12.8 billion ($3.4 billion) in November to reach SAR516 billion ($137.6 billion). The Kingdom’s holdings are 13.5 percent below pre-pandemic levels. Saudi Arabia surpassed France to become the 14th largest sovereign holder of U.S. debt.
• Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports increased 12 percent YoY in November, totaling SAR20.6 billion ($5.5 billion), while oil exports were down 40 percent YoY, totaling SAR37.6 billion ($10 billion). Saudi exports to the U.S. increased 38 percent in November MoM to reach SAR2.1 billion ($547 million) while Saudi imports of U.S. goods totaled SAR4.6 billion ($1.2 billion), rising 12 percent from the previous month.