JEDDAH — The Saudi economy has grown and has seen positive developments said Dr. Ahmed Alkholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), on Wednesday during the presentation of its 55th annual report here.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman received SAMA’s 55th annual report at the Al-Salam Palace. The SAMA report reviewed economic and financial developments in the Kingdom during 2018.
The report was presented during the King's reception in the presence of Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan, the SAMA Governor Alkholifey and undersecretaries in SAMA.
The King noted the important role of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority in serving the national economy and achieving desired goals, while wishing success for all.
Alkholifey, in his speech, reviewed the most important economic indicators in the SAMA report, stating that due to the State following balanced economic policies, the economy has achieved positive developments in most of its sectors in 2018.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices achieved a growth of 02.04 percent against 0.07 percent contraction in 2017, while the GDP of the oil sector increased by 03.01 percent, non-oil GDP grew by 02.02 percent, and prices remained stable with inflation at 02.05 percent.
The current account surplus in the Kingdom's balance of payments increased significantly to reach SR265 billion compared to a surplus of SR39 billion in 2017, and non-oil exports increased by 22 percent to reach SR236 billion.
The budget deficit of the state decreased from about SR238 billion to SR174 billion to reach about 5.9 percent of the GDP, compared to about 9.3 percent in the previous year despite an expansionary spending policy that included social support for citizens, strengthening the private sector.
The SAMA governor said, during a meeting with King Salman along with Al-Jadaan, that the economy has achieved progress in different sectors in 2018 thanks to the state’s balanced economic policies, adding that the economy is set to maintain positive results in 2019.
Alkholifey also said that SAMA’s monetary policy helped maintaining stable exchange rate, and providing liquidity to support economic activities. He noted that SAMA seeks to diversify its investment portfolios.
“SAMA monitors the banking system to guarantee safety and enhance confidence and efficiency,” Alkholifey said, adding that reserve assets rose 3.3 percent to SR1.923 billion in H1 2019.
He also said that adequacy ratio (Basel III) averaged 20.6 percent by end of the second quarter of 2019, which further strengthened the Kingdom’s financial sector.