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Saudi GDP grows by 6.8% in fourth quarter – flash estimates – Metro US

Saudi GDP grows by 6.8% in fourth quarter – flash estimates

Clouds move over the Riyadh skyline
Clouds move over the Riyadh skyline

DUBAI (Reuters) -Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product grew by 6.8% in the fourth quarter, bringing overall growth last year to 3.3%, official flash estimates showed on Thursday.

The quarter’s growth was driven by a 10.8% rise in oil activities and a 5% increase in non-oil activities, the General Authority for Statistics said. Government services increased by 2.4%.

“The increase in oil production is being reflected in the 4Q GDP data, and is supporting real oil sector growth. We see this trend continuing in 2022 as oil output rises further,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted real GDP grew by 1.6% in the fourth quarter, the authority said.

Saudi Arabia notched 7% growth in the third quarter, its fastest expansion in about a decade.

GDP growth for the full year was a marked turn from the 4.1% contraction in 2020, when oil crashed and economies across the world were hammered by the pandemic’s impact.

The estimated 3.3% expansion came above the government’s forecast of 2.9% growth for 2021. Riyadh expects the Saudi economy to grow 7.4% next year.

Economists polled by Reuters last month had forecast GDP growth of 2.8% this year and 5.7% next year.

(Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Himani Sarkar & Shri Navaratnam)

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