Study Highlights Importance of Raising Savings Rate in Saudi Arabia to Support Economic Growth

The study issued by the KPMG consulting company highlighted the link between household savings’ rate and the state’s economic growth. (AFP)
The study issued by the KPMG consulting company highlighted the link between household savings’ rate and the state’s economic growth. (AFP)
TT

Study Highlights Importance of Raising Savings Rate in Saudi Arabia to Support Economic Growth

The study issued by the KPMG consulting company highlighted the link between household savings’ rate and the state’s economic growth. (AFP)
The study issued by the KPMG consulting company highlighted the link between household savings’ rate and the state’s economic growth. (AFP)

An economic study called for the need to raise the savings rate in Saudi Arabia to support economic growth, pointing to the importance of promoting a culture of savings through behavioral experiences and the establishment of a supervisory body to monitor progress in implementing savings performance.

The study issued by the KPMG consulting company on “Analysis of Household Saving in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” highlighted the link between household savings’ rate and the state’s economic growth, indicating the need to improve the existing rate to the global level of 10%, which is recognized as the lowest level to guarantee long-term financial stability.

The report showed how some countries, by adopting innovative solutions and policies, have instilled a savings mindset among their citizens.

“Household savings and investments are two vital cogs in the proper functioning of an economy. An acceptable rate of economic growth typically requires an adequate rate of investment and therefore, a satisfactory supply of savings,” said Abdullah Al Fozan, Chairman of KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

He continued: “Due to the key role household savings play in the economic development of a country, Saudi Arabia, as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 programs, launched the Financial Sector Development program (FSDP).”

He explained in the report that one of the key objectives of FSDP was to “develop a diversified financial sector to support the development of the national economy and stimulate savings.”

Al Fozan underlined that the unavailability of an adequate number of savings products in the market and a low level of financial literacy compared to other countries such as Australia and Germany, encompass some of the factors behind Saudi Arabia’s low household savings rate.

“The country’s household savings rate, as of 2018, is significantly low compared with that of other G20 countries including Germany (11 percent), the US (8 percent) and Mexico (10.8 percent),” he remarked.

According to the study, one of the major objectives of FSDP is to “promote and enable financial planning by driving the expansion of savings products available in the market, strengthening the savings ecosystem, and enhancing financial literacy.”



Egypt's Central Bank Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged

A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
TT

Egypt's Central Bank Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged

A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt's central bank left its overnight interest rates unchanged on Thursday, as expected, saying economic growth remained slow but that inflation has been decreasing.
The bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left the deposit rate at 27.25% and the lending rate at 28.25%.
All but one of 18 analysts in a Reuters poll had expected rates to remain unchanged, with the sole analyst forecasting a cut of 100 basis points (bps).
The decision keeps the overnight deposit rate below that of headline inflation, which was 27.5% in June. Real interest rates have been negative since January 2022. Inflation declined in June for a fourth straight month after soaring to a record 38% in September.
The MPC expects inflation to come down sharply in the first half of 2025.
"The gradual unwinding of food inflation along with the improvement of inflation expectations suggest that inflation is on a sustained downward trajectory," the MPC said.
Gross domestic product inched down to an annualized 2.2% in the first quarter from 2.3% in the final quarter of 2023, the MPC added.
"Leading indicators for Q2 2024 suggest that economic activity remains subdued. Consequently, real GDP growth is expected to slow down in FY 2023/24 compared to the previous fiscal year, before recovering in FY 2024/25," it said.
Egypt reported GDP of 3.8% in 2022/23.
The central bank raised interest rates by 600 bps on March 6 as part of an agreement with the IMF, bringing total increases since the beginning of the year to 800 bps. Egypt also sharply devalued its currency against the dollar under its IMF accord.