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Saudi economic growth to hit 3.7%

Private sector growth will accelerate this year, says Riyadh-based economist

January 16, 2010 6:07 by

Economic growth in Saudi Arabia will accelerate to 3.7 percent this year, according to a Riyadh-based economist.

In an article published in Arab News, John Sfakianakis, group general manager and chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi, wrote that the private sector “expanded 2.5 percent in 2009 and the bank anticipates growth to rise to 3.7 percent in 2010.”

“Saudi Arabia’s economic recovery this year will most likely follow a gradual, steady track. Economic growth should accelerate following a stagnant and difficult year, inflation will remain at manageable but historically high levels and expansion of the private sector is set to take a turn for the better along with credit expansion at Saudi banks,” wrote Sfakianakis.

“The government, through a stimulatory public spending program, will continue to lead the pick up in the economy as Saudi oil averages around $74 a barrel and low levels of government debt bolster the Kingdom’s fiscal position. A higher oil price environment will enable Saudi Arabia to experience comfortable budget and current account surpluses.

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