SAUDI ARABIAN MARKET
Saudi Arabia Macroeconomic Developments
• Saudi Arabia extended restrictions on entertainment, recreation, and dine-in services for an additional 20 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Ministry of Interior will keep the restrictions in place until March 4, subject to further review.
• Saudi Arabia’s economy grew 2.8 percent in Q4, following a 1.8 percent expansion in Q3. On a yearly basis, the Saudi economy contracted 4.1 percent in 2020, reflecting the downturn in oil markets amid the global pandemic. The official full GDP report will be published on March 16th.
• Point-of-sale (POS) transactions declined 8 percent to SAR8.6 billion ($2.3 billion) from SAR9.3 billion ($2.5 billion) during the week ending on February 6th. Food & beverages, restaurants, and healthcare accounted for the top consumer spending segments. The four-week moving average has trended steadily higher despite the VAT hike in July, but recent temporary restrictions on in-person service businesses are likely to drive a spending decline in the near-term.