DUBAI- Saudi Arabia's economy will grow 2.6% this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday, after the economy of the world's top oil exporter shrank last year due to low oil prices and the coronavirus crisis.
Saudi Arabia itself has estimated its economy could swing back to growth of 3.2% this year after a 3.7% contraction in 2020.
The IMF in October had forecast 3.1% growth in 2021 for the country, following a 5.4% contraction last year. The IMF is now predicting 2.6% expansion this year, from a 3.9% contraction last year, it said in its latest World Economic Outlook.
It expects the Saudi economy to expand by 4% next year.
The IMF said that multiple vaccine approvals and the launch of vaccinations in some countries in December had boosted hopes of an eventual end to the pandemic, but warned that the world economy continued to face "exceptional uncertainty".
(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((Davide.Barbuscia@thomsonreuters.com; +971522604297; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))