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MOF welcomes the IMF’s 2019 Article IV Consultation Report

Riyadh, The Ministry of Finance welcomed the 2019 Article IV Consultation report for Saudi Arabia. The report commended the Kingdom's progress made in implementing its reform program that aimed at supporting the diversification of the economy, inclusive growth and job creation.

It confirmed that the Kingdom is continuing the implementation of reforms that aim at strengthening the legal framework and improving business climate.

The report pointed out that the structural reforms undertaken by the Government include: financial markets, foreign investment, legal framework, ease of doing business and SMEs.

The report also pointed out the continued recovery of the non-oil economy, where it expected growth rates to accelerate to 2.9% in 2019, which is supported by positive economic indicators since the outset of the year.

The report also indicated that the raise in the government spending and increased confidence in the economy support economic activity, while the impact of expatriate workers exit on economic growth will be limited. The report also predicted that the growth rate of the non-oil sector will continue to improve over the medium term to reach 3% to 3.2% over the coming years as economic reforms continue to be implemented.

It noted the decline of the unemployment rate among citizens to 12.5% during the first quarter of 2019, the improvement of credit growth, including lending to the construction, real estate, and manufacturing sectors, as well as the good position of banks. The report also acknowledged the increase of reserves at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), which is considered high using the IMF's assessment of reserve adequacy (ARA) metric. In addition, the report expected a decrease in the non-exported oil primary deficit.

The report confirmed that the Vision Realization Programs of the Saudi Vision 2030 have moved from the design stage to the implementation stage. The economic and social reforms that support growth and employment of citizens are beginning to have a positive impact on the economy, according to the report.

Source: Saudi Press Agency