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Super-sized spending in Saudi
Most families in Saudi are spending much more than they earn, accumulating huge debts as a result.
March 10, 2010 4:31 by Aarti Nagraj
Out of the 52 percent of Saudi respondents who are in debt, 66 percent have credit card debts, 23 percent have personal bank loans, 6 percent have auto loans and 5 percent claim to have student loans.
Interestingly, the survey also found that over half of the Arab youth across the region spend their money on personal items like clothes and mobile calls, as well as dining out.
That is a likely factor behind the predicted rise in Saudi retail sales from about $76 billion in 2008 to $97 billion by 2013, according to the Saudi Arabia Retail Report released by research firm Business Monitor International (BMI)in October last year.
The main reasons for the forecast growth include: “strong underlying economic growth, rising disposable incomes, increasing acceptance of the concept of modern retailing, a youthful population and an enlarged consumer base created by the improved position of women in society,” said the report.
Consumer spending per capita in the Kingdom is predicted to rise by more than 24 percent between 2008 and 2013, to reach $5,246. At the same time, the country’s population is anticipated to rise from 24.4 million to 26.5 million during the period, said the report.
BMI also forecasted that automotive sales will increase by more than 51 percent – from $16.57 billion to $25.05 billion – during the same period. Sales of consumer electronics are expected to rise from $3.65 billion to $4.75 billion, a growth of more than 30 percent.