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    Saudi Arabia Economy 1998

      Economy - overview This is a well-to-do oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. About 35% of GDP comes from the private sector. Economic (as well as political) ties with the US are especially strong. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75% of budget revenues, 35% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. Saudi Arabia has the largest reserves of petroleum in the world (26% of the proved total), ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. For the 1990s the government intends to bring its budget, which has been in deficit since 1983, back into balance, and to encourage private economic activity. Roughly 4 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and service sectors. Helped by production above its OPEC quota, Saudi Arabia continued to bring its finances closer into balance in 1997, recording a $1.6 billion budget deficit and a $200 million current account surplus. For 1998, the country looks to its policies of maintaining moderate fiscal reforms, restraining public spending, and encouraging nonoil exports. Shortages of water and rapid population growth will constrain government efforts to increase self-sufficiency in agricultural products.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $206.5 billion (1997 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 4% (1997 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $10,300 (1997 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 6%
      industry: 46%
      services: 48% (1996)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 0% (1997 est.)

      Labor force 7 million
      by occupation: government 40%, industry, construction, and oil 25%, services 30%, agriculture 5%
      note: 35% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)

      Unemployment rate NA%

      revenues: $47.5 billion
      expenditures: $52.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

      Industries crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, cement, two small steel-rolling mills, construction, fertilizer, plastics

      Industrial production growth rate 16% (1996 est.)

      Electricity - capacity 20.9 million kW (1995)

      Electricity - production 65 billion kWh (1995)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 3,470 kWh (1995)

      Agriculture - products wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk

      total value: $56.7 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 90%
      partners: Japan 17%, US 15%, South Korea 10%, Singapore 8%, France 5% (1996 est.)

      total value: $25.4 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
      partners: US 22%, UK 12%, Japan 9%, Germany 8%, Italy 5%, France 4% (1996 est.)

      Debt - external $NA

      Economic aid
      donor: pledged $100 million in 1993 to fund reconstruction of Lebanon

      Currency 1 Saudi riyal (SR) = 100 halalah

      Exchange rates Saudi riyals (SR) per US$1 - 3.7450 (fixed rate since June 1986)

      Fiscal year calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Saudi Arabia on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Saudi Arabia Economy 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Saudi Arabia Economy 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
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