Saudi Arabia Macroeconomic Developments
- Saudi Arabia’s economy grew 1.5 percent in Q2 YoY (+1.1 percent QoQ), the first growth rate since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic according to the General Authority for Statistics (GAStat). Non-oil GDP grew 10.1 percent YoY (+1.3 percent QoQ) while oil GDP declined 7 percent (+2.5 percent QoQ). On a quarterly basis, the oil sector outpaced the non-oil sector for the first time since 2019.
- Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector economy continued to expand in July as IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) registered 55.8 points but declined from June’s 56.4 points. The pace of job creation was slower as non-oil firms work through backlogs. New orders grew at a slower pace and business optimism fell while output and purchasing activity remained high.
- Point-of-sale (POS) transactions in Saudi Arabia rose by 4.6 percent YoY in June, totaling SAR38.7 billion ($10.3 billion). ATM transactions in Saudi Arabia declined by 4 percent YoY in H1. E-commerce transactions rose, having almost doubled in H1 2021 compared to last year. On an annual basis, POS transactions in “Hotels” and “Restaurants & Cafes” grew while higher cost purchases such as “Electronics” and “Jewelry” declined YoY given the impact of big purchases in June 2020 ahead of the VAT hike.