Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman received on Tuesday the 53rd annual report of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), which reviews the economic and financial developments in the Kingdom during the year 2016.
The report was presented to the King by Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan, SAMA Governor Ahmed al-Khulaifi, and deputy governors of SAMA at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.
King Salman lauded SAMA’s efforts to serve the national economy and wished every success to all.
Speaking on the occasion, SAMA Governor al-Khulaifi said “The supply and demand in the international oil market led to a decrease in the average price of Arab light oil by 18 percent to reach about $41 a barrel in 2016.”
He added that the Kingdom’s economy achieved positive growth of 1.7 percent in 2016 and that the Saudi leadership is keen to maintain an improved standard of living for citizens. To achieve this goal, the government spent a total of SR830.5 billion (USD221 billion) in 2016. “This contributed to mitigating the impact of a drop in oil prices on the local economy and the services provided by the government to citizens,” Khulaifi stated.
He added that the non-oil private sector achieved positive growth of about one percent while the general cost of living index rose by 3.5 percent compared to 2.2 percent in 2015.
Inflation rate posted a decline in 2017, with an average fall of 0.4 percent during the first eight months of the current fiscal year after registering an increase in 2106.
Khulaifi said the SAMA annual report included several positive statistical indicators that reemphasize the strength of the financial and banking sector in the Kingdom.
The Financial Sector Development Program, approved by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, along with other programs to achieve the Saudi Vision 2030, aims at enhancing the efficiency of the financial sector in supporting the development of the national economy, diversifying its sources of income as well as its ability to stimulate savings, finance and investment.