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Saudi Arabia:
Economy

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Economy - overview
Definition
Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses more than 20% of the world's proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75% of budget revenues, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. About 40% of GDP comes from the private sector. Roughly 5.5 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, particularly in the oil and service sectors. High oil prices have boosted growth, government revenues, and Saudi ownership of foreign assets, while enabling Riyadh to pay down domestic debt. The government is encouraging private sector growth - especially in power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration, and petrochemicals - to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil exports and to increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population, nearly 40% of which are youths under 15 years old. Unemployment is high, and the large youth population generally lacks the education and technical skills the private sector needs. Riyadh has substantially boosted spending on job training and education, infrastructure development, and government salaries. As part of its effort to attract foreign investment and diversify the economy, Saudi Arabia acceded to the WTO in December 2005 after many years of negotiations. The government has announced plans to establish six "economic cities" in different regions of the country to promote development and diversification.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
Definition - World rank and map
$564.6 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
Definition
$376 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
4.1% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita
Definition - World rank and map
$23,200 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
Definition
agriculture: 3%
industry: 65.9%
services: 31.1% (2007 est.)
Labor force
Definition
6.563 million
note: about one-third of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
Definition
agriculture: 12%
industry: 25%
services: 63% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate
Definition - World rank and map
13% among Saudi males only (local bank estimate; some estimates range as high as 25%) (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line
Definition
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share
Definition
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
Definition - World rank and map
4.1% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed)
Definition - World rank and map
18.8% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget
Definition
revenues: $165.4 billion
expenditures: $118.3 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt
Definition - World rank and map
23.3% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products
Definition
wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Industries
Definition
crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics, metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction
Industrial production growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
-1.1% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production
Definition - World rank and map
165.6 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
146.9 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
5,216.4 kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports
Definition
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports
Definition
0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production
Definition - World rank and map
11 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
2 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption per 1,000 people
Definition - World rank and map
71 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - exports
Definition - World rank and map
8.9 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports
Definition - World rank and map
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
264.3 billion bbl (2007 est.)
Natural gas - production
Definition - World rank and map
68.32 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
68.32 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
2,426 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
6.568 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance
Definition - World rank and map
$100.8 billion (2007 est.)
Exports
Definition - World rank and map
$230 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities
Definition
petroleum and petroleum products 90%
Exports - partners
Definition
US 16.8%, Japan 16.1%, South Korea 10.3%, China 7.8%, Taiwan 4.8% (2006)
Imports
Definition - World rank and map
$81.17 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities
Definition
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
Imports - partners
Definition
US 12.6%, China 9.3%, Germany 8.8%, Japan 8.1%, Italy 5.1%, UK 4.5%, South Korea 4.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
Definition - World rank and map
$34.01 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external
Definition - World rank and map
$52.08 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
Definition
$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
Definition
$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares
Definition
$326.9 billion (2006)
Economic aid - donor
Definition
since 2002, Saudi Arabia has provided more than $480 million in budgetary support to the Palestinian Authority, supported Palestinian refugees through contributions to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), provided more than $250 million to Arab League funds for the Palestinians, and pledged $500 million in assistance over the next three years at the Donors Conference in Dec 2007; pledged $230 million to development in Afghanistan; pledged $1 billion in export guarantees and soft loans to Iraq; pledged $133 million in direct grant aid, $187 million in concessional loans, and $153 million in export credits for Pakistan earthquake relief; pledged a total of $1.59 billion to Lebanon in assistance and deposits to the Central Bank of Lebanon in 2006 and pledged an additional $1.1 billion in early 2007
Economic aid - recipient
Definition
$26.29 million (2005)
Currency (code)
Definition
Saudi riyal (SAR)
Exchange rates
Definition
Saudi riyals per US dollar - 3.745 (2007), 3.745 (2006), 3.747 (2005), 3.75 (2004), 3.75 (2003)
Fiscal year
Definition
calendar year


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