Saudi Arabia Macroeconomic Developments
- Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continued to grow strongly in March with new orders rising at the fastest pace since December 2017. S&P Global’s (formerly IHS Markit) Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reached 56.8 points in March, rising from 56.2 points in February and remaining well above the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction. New business and activity rose sharply as client demand improved while supplier delivery times improved.
- Saudi Arabia’s reserve assets slipped by 1.2 percent MoM in February to a total of SAR1.655 trillion ($441.5 billion), according to the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA). The drawdown was primarily due to a 3.9 percent reduction in foreign currency and deposits abroad. The Kingdom’s total reserve assets remain roughly unchanged from this time last year, but with a moderate rebalancing towards IMF reserves and away from foreign currency and deposits abroad.
- New residential mortgage financing slowed sharply by 28 percent MoM (-38 percent YoY) in February, according to SAMA. Banks added SAR8.8 billion ($2.3 billion) in new mortgage financing across houses, apartments, and land.