Saudi Arabia real GDP growth at 6.6 pct in fourth quarter 2011

Ahram Online, Saturday 14 Apr 2012

Kingdom's purchasing power sees an annual surge, led by higher oil prices and a recent real estate boom

Real GDP in Saudi Arabia grew 6.6 percent in 4Q2011 against the year before, up from 5.1 per cent in the third quarter, according to data from the country's Central Department of Statistics.

The oil sector, which accounts for nearly a third of the Kingdom's economy, expanded 6.1 per cent in 4Q2011, the figures show.
Private sector growth, at 9.9 per cent, rapidly outpaced that of the state sector, which expanded 3.6 per cent. 
A recent real estate boom and heavy government spending on infrastructure helped fuel a 13.3 per cent expansion in the construction sector.
The Saudi government had previously announced that real GDP grew 6.8 per cent in 2011, up from 4.6 per cent in 2010, its fastest expansion since 2003.
Saudi's statistics department also announced a 26 per cent annual rise in non-oil exports for February 2012.
Data showed the total weight of exports reached 3,878,000 tonnes, up 470,000 tonnes -- or 14 per cent -- on the same period in 2011.
Petrochemicals, at SAR5.2 billion ($1.4bn), accounted for the largest exported product, followed by plastic products and foodstuffs. 
China was Saudis biggest customer for non-oil exports with a total of SAR2 billion, followed by the United Arab Emirates with SAR1.5 billion. 
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