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Argaam: Saudi general reserves fall to $95.6bn in 2020

Saudi general reserves
Saudi general reserves

Saudi general reserves fell by SR110.9 billion ($29.5 billion) year-on-year to SR 358.7 billion in 2020, Argaam said.

On a monthly basis, the Kingdom’s general reserves retreated by SR 61.7 billion in December 2020.

At the same time, the Kingdom’s current account rose by SR18.25 billion to SR77.87 billion in 2020, compared to a year earlier.

The newspaper said the current account recorded an increase of SR 23.3 billion in December 2020, compared to the previous month.

Public sector expenditures

In a related context, public sector expenditures amounted to SR764.6 billion, while the same for the private sector reached SR251.8 billion.

The ministry of finance said 73% (SR183.8 billion) of the private sector’s total expenditures was disbursed within 15 days of receiving payment orders. 19% (SR 49.2 billion) was disbursed within 30 days; and 7% (SR 16billion) was disbursed within 45 days.

The remaining 1% (SR2.8 billion) of payment orders was disbursed after 45 days due to their suspension according to judicial rulings or seized by statutory decisions.

Projected improvement

Meanwhile, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in Saudi Arabia rose to 57.1 in January 2021 compared to 57.0 in December 2020, according to IHS Markit.

The firm said in a statement that the index recorded its highest level since November 2019, indicating a significant improvement in business conditions across the non-oil private sector economy.

The headline index was lifted by a faster expansion in output levels at the start of 2021, and one that was the sharpest recorded for 15 months.

A sharp rise in new orders during January contributed to the expansion in business activity despite growth pace has been easing slightly since December.

the upturn was supported by improving market conditions, rising online sales, and greater export demand. New orders from foreign clients rose to the greatest level in almost four years.

New order intakes’ rise also led to a faster increase in purchasing activity during January, with the rate of accumulation quickening to a 13-month high.

Reflecting optimism for the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and the predicted positive impact on the economic recovery, business expectations for the forthcoming 12 months remained upbeat in January.

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