European business looks to Saudi fiscal fix
A report by Arabia Monitor consultancy, Saudi Arabia: Fiscal restructuring forges ahead, presented an upbeat outlook for the kingdom as well as neighbouring countries that are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council political and economic group.
The report by Florence Eid-Oakden, PhD, Arabia Monitor’s chief economist, and analyst Charlene Rahall, said Saudi Arabia’s 2018 budget and its stimulus packages focusing on SMEs, housing, construction and export growth “are expected to support non-oil sector growth.”
But, the report said, some “one-off and lumpy spending” could not be ruled out, leading to budget overruns, because of past government decisions.
Of particular interest to European businesses looking to improve prospects in the country is the report’s assessment that the country’s on-oil sector appears to be leading the way.
The expansionary budget for the year “together with the firming of international oil prices, if sustained, could boost economic activity and private sector growth, with spillover effects in
other GCC countries, notably the UAE and Bahrain,” the report said.