Saudi Posts 5.9% Q1 GDP Growth

The Kingdom’s GDP growth during the first quarter of 2012 reduced slightly compared to the fourth quarter of last year.

Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, grew 5.94 per cent from a year earlier in the first quarter of this year, the government’s statistics department said on Wednesday.

That marked a minor slowdown from the 6.6 per cent growth recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.

The private sector expanded 6.33 per cent in real terms last quarter, again outpacing the state sector, which grew 4.24 per cent. The oil sector grew 7.17 per cent.

The country’s total exports of goods and services jumped 22.94 per cent to SAR384 billion ($102 billion) on the back of high oil prices and energy production, while imports increased 16.11 per cent to SAR182 billion.

The price of Brent crude oil was above $120 a barrel for much of the first quarter. It has since declined to as low as $95 a barrel this week, suggesting economic growth may slow further later this year.