The unemployment rate among Saudi Arabia's citizens declined to 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2023, down from 8.6% in the third quarter of 2023, according to the General Authority for Statistics’ (GASTAT) labour force survey.

Additionally, the overall unemployment rate among the working-age population dropped to 4.4% in Q4 2023, compared to 5.1% in Q3 2023, an Al Rajhi Capital Research report quoting the survey said.

This marks the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded since data collection began in 1999.

Furthermore, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) decreased to 3.11% in February from 4.30% in January. Additionally, the average Brent crude oil price climbed to 84.03 ($/bbl) in March, up from 80.46 in February.

Consumer Price Index (CPI): CPI increased by 1.8% y-o-y in February (+1.60% y-o-y in January). The y-o-y rise of the CPI resulted mainly from Housing, Water, Electricity, and Gas (+8.50% y-o-y).

Wholesale Price Index (WPI): WPI increased by 3.11% y-o-y in February (4.30% y-o-y in January), due to a rise in ‘Other transportable goods, except metal products, machinery, and equipment transportable goods (7.51%).

Index of Industrial Production (IIP): IIP decreased (-8.80% y-o-y) in January, mainly due to a decline in the Mining and Quarrying sectors’ activity (-14.30% y-o-y).

International trade: Non-oil exports in January increased 0.8% y-o-y, compared to the increase of 12.00% y-o-y in December. The shipment increase was driven by ‘Vehicles, aircraft, vessels, and associated transport equipment’ (+96.50% y-o-y).

Saudi Central Bank’s foreign reserves: On an annual basis, fell 4.6% in February compared to a similar decline in January, to SAR1,619 billion. 

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