Weekly Insights 1 Apr 2022: Growth is Accelerating in Saudi Arabia

1 April, 2022
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Weekly Insights 1 Apr 2022: Economic Activity Is Picking Up in Saudi Arabia

1. GCC are entering Q2 2022 with low Covid19 cases, amid rising vaccination rates & lower restrictions

2. Mobility & traffic in Saudi Arabia tick up thanks to lower Covid19 cases & easing of restrictions

3. Saudi Arabia’s latest monetary statistics shows strong consumer spending (even as ATM transactions continue to drop); net foreign assets decline

4. Saudi Arabia’s FDI jumps to USD 19.3bn in 2021; record issuance of foreign investment licenses

  • The National Investment Strategy report released this week showed a surge in FDI into Saudi Arabia in 2021: it increased to USD 19.3bn, up 257% yoy. The massive jump was thanks to a USD 12.4bn infrastructure deal Aramco closed with a global investor consortium in Q2 2021. In H2 2021, FDI grew by 23.7%
  • Record investor licenses issued: 3386 in H1 2021 (347.9% yoy); more than 3 times to 4400 in 2021, thanks to govt’s efforts to improve investment environment & efforts to attract regional HQs. Wholesale & retail dominate investment licenses (44% of licenses in H2 2021), followed by manufacturing (16%) and construction (15%)

5. Unemployment in Saudi Arabia touches an average 11.3% in 2021

  • In comparison to overall unemployment rate in 2021, the female unemployment rate was almost double (22%)
  • Female unemployment rate ticked up in Q4 for women aged 15-44 (vs Q3)
  • Female labour force participation continues to rise steadily: 35.6% in Q4 2021 from 17.4% in Q1 2017

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