Saudi Arabia Macroeconomic Developments
- Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector gained momentum in February with IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rising from 53.2 points in January to 56.2 points. Business confidence and new demand grew amid faster upturns in output and new orders. Purchasing growth nearly hit a three-year high as businesses saw major improvements in supply chain performance.
- Saudi public debt posted its first quarterly decline since Q1 2017, according to SAMA. In Q4 2021, external debt fell to SAR379.3 billion ($101.1 billion) largely due to repayments. Domestic debt also declined by SAR1.8 billion ($480 million) to SAR558.7 billion ($149 billion) in Q4, leading overall public debt to SAR938 billion ($250.1 billion).
- Consumer spending in Saudi Arabia rose 8 percent YoY to SAR101.5 ($27.1 billion) in January. Point-of-sale (POS) transactions were up 17 percent while cash withdrawals declined 4 percent. E-commerce sales through Mada cards increased 88 percent, constituting the fastest growing consumer spending segment.