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KSA: Economic growth stays decade-high as oil powers rebound

The economy of Saudi Arabia expanded 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, maintaining the speedier pace of annual growth in almost a decade as high oil prices boost the kingdom’s income and drive its recovery from COVID-19.

According to preliminary estimates released by the General Authority for Statistics, the non-oil gross domestic product gained 5 percent while the oil economy grew 10.8 percent.

During this crisis, the oil market helped as the Brent crude prices averaged nearly $80 a barrel in the fourth quarter. The growth of the year 2021 was 3.3 percent. In December of the same year, Consumer spending was 1.8 percent higher than the same month two years ago, before the pandemic.

The figures suggest that the omicron Covid-19 variant had a limited economic impact on the world’s largest crude exporter.

The growth in the non-oil private sector dwindled in the first month of this year as virus cases surged, with a Purchasing Managers’ Index compiled by IHS Markit falling from 53.9 in December to 53.2 in January.

Authorities have maintained the economy unrestricted during the latest wave of COVID 19, requiring vaccine booster shots while organizing a series of major events dubbed Riyadh Season.

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