Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has received the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency’s annual report for FY 2006-2007. SAMA Governor Hamad Al-Sayyari presented the report to the King at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah last night.
In remarks on the occasion, Al-Sayyari said that the Saudi economy has shown substantial growth for the fourth year in a row, with a real economic growth rate of 4.3 percent. The private sector grew by 6.4 percent, the highest real growth rate in 25 years, while the public sector grew 6.1 percent, the highest in nine years.
Al-Sayyari attributed that growth to the increased role of the private sector, direct domestic and foreign investments, and the global oil market. He also cited the Kingdom’s policies of openness, flexibility and free flow of capital as factors in the country’s financial stability.
According to the report, the national budget surplus reached SR 290 billion [$77.6 billion], despite record public expenditures of SR 393 billion [$105.1 billion]; and the balance of payments for 2006 also showed a surplus of SR 371 billion [$99.3 billion].
Al-Sayyari said that the economy is expected to continue seeing strong growth in the non-oil sectors.
Challenges facing the economy include job creation and balancing education policies with the requirements of the labor market, he said.