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Saudi Arabia - Economy

Whitaker's Almanack Version

Financial Outlook

The IMF expects growth to accelerate to 4.4% in 2014, up from 3.6% in 2013, according to a report published in December 2013. Saudi Arabia’s oil exports hit 2.66 billion barrels in 2013, with the proceeds amounting to US$50 billion. Inflation reached 3.35% in 2013, somewhat above the 2012 level of 2.9%, according to official figures. In December 2013 the government announced that it would run a balanced budget in 2014. In 2013 the government was reported to have adopted a policy of ejecting foreign workers to reduce unemployment, which ran at more than 11% in 2013 according to the Ministry of Labor. However, the CIA says that some sources place the unemployment rate as high as 25%. There were reports that over a million workers out of a workforce of nine million had been ejected from the kingdom during the year. In January 2014 Reuters reported that the crackdown on foreign workers had spread beyond the labor-intensive construction industry to sectors as far afield as banking and telecommunications.

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