The Saudi General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) revealed on Sunday that the Kingdom’s real gross domestic product (GDP) jumped by 11.8 % year-on-year (YoY) in the second quarter of 2022.
The announcement countered International Monetary Fund projections that the economy will grow at 7.6% this year, the highest growth among world economies for 2022.
The jump is the highest recorded since 2011.
According to GASTAT, Saudi economic growth was driven by a significant increase in oil activities by 23.1 % YoY and 5.4 % rise in non-oil activities. Meanwhile, government activities increased by 2.2 % YoY.
Moreover, the seasonally adjusted real GDP increased by 1.8 % in the second quarter of 2022, compared to the first quarter of this year.
Economists told Asharq Al-Awsat that the figures are a testament to Saudi efforts in supporting economic growth, such as structuring the economy, reinforcing natural economic components, and stimulating productive sectors.
The Kingdom has also exerted efforts in creating new sectors, diversifying the economy, implementing digital and economic transformation, and promoting technical industrial diversity.
Member of the Saudi Shura Council Fadel al-Buainain believes that the 11.8% GDP jump by the Kingdom’s economy points to the efficacy of the economic reforms initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman under Vision 2030.
“Certainly, significant development in the oil sector as a direct result of the rise in oil prices contributed to achieving economic growth, but the achievement of the non-oil economy also played a remarkable role,” al-Buainain told Asharq Al-Awsat.
He noted that there are new sectors that have contributed to the growth of the non-oil sector, such as tourism, mining, and military industries.
He highlighted the mega projects, like NEOM and The Line, providing a qualitative addition to the Saudi economy. He said those projects promote promising sectors that include tourism, renewable energy, technology, and modern industries.