Saudi Arabia Macroeconomic Developments
- Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continued to expand in August, but at the softest pace in ten months. IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for Saudi Arabia fell from 55.8 points in July to 54.1 points in August. Domestic orders remained strong and firms saw an increase in tourist numbers. Demand momentum remains high with three times as many firms seeing a rise in new orders as those registering a drop, but job creation and business output are seeing a slowdown in growth.
- The Saudi Central Bank’s (SAMA) net foreign assets fell 1 percent in July, reaching SAR1.64 trillion ($437.3 billion). SAMA reduced low-yield bank deposits held abroad while raising its investments in high-yield foreign securities. SAMA’s total assets grew 0.3 percent to reach SAR1.85 trillion ($493.3 billion) in July.
- Residential new mortgage financing in Saudi Arabia rose 11.9 percent MoM in July to hit SAR8.4 billion ($2.2 billion). The average mortgage value rose to SAR454.2k ($121.1k). The pace of mortgage lending remains strong relative to pre-COVID levels but has slowed since peaking in Q1 2021.