The Saudi economy is giving indications that it is recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic better in the first half of this year, the World Bank said.
The World Bank’s Regional Director for the Gulf Cooperation Council, Middle East and North Africa, Issam Abu Suleiman, said that the Saudi non-oil economy has shown good signs in the past months.
He stressed that the recovery supported domestic demand, with a seasonal growth rate of 4.9% and -0.5% in the first and second quarters, respectively.
Abu Suleiman indicated that the oil sector recovered some of its losses during the second quarter of 2021 against the backdrop of a voluntary cut in oil production by one million barrels per day, which lasted from February to April.
He pointed out that the recovery process will continue with a growth rate of 2.4% in 2021 and 4.9% in 2022.
The oil sector is expected to grow by -0.3% in 2021, after OPEC+ agreed upon a path of production levels until next December.
it is also expected to jump significantly in 2022 with the end of the OPEC+ production cut agreement as announced.
Abu Suleiman said, “As the vaccination program gains additional momentum and restrictions related to the Coronavirus are eased, the non-oil sectors will continue their growth path, which is estimated to reach 4% in 2021 and 3.3% in 2022.”
Saudi Arabia began easing restrictions related to confronting the Coronavirus and approaching the start of returning to normal life, after vaccinating more than half of the population with two doses.
The vaccine doses given in the Kingdom since the start of vaccination programme exceeded 43 million doses that have been administered so far through more than 587 vaccination sites in all regions of the Kingdom.
The number of those who received one dose reached more than 23.8 million people of the population of the Kingdom, and their percentage reached 67%, while the number of those who received the two doses reached more than 20 million people, their percentage of more than 56%.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to ease restrictions came due to the progress in immunizing society and the decline in the number of cases of coronavirus infection.
Mitigation measures include not committing to wearing the mask in open places, except for the excluded places, while continuing to commit to wearing it in closed places.