IMF hails Saudi Arabia’s progress on reforms

WASHINGTON, The International Monetary Fund has praised Saudi Arabia’s progress in implementing economic and social reforms and its continuing implementation of these plans.

These reforms include lowering the registration threshold for VAT, adjusting petrol prices on a quarterly basis and increasing fiscal transparency, the Washington-based IMF highlighted in its report on the country.

Meanwhile, it said reforms pertaining to the capital market, legal framework, business environment and small and medium-sized enterprises sector were ongoing.

“Directors noted that reforms have started to yield results and that the outlook for the economy is positive; however, volatility in global oil prices poses uncertainty.

“They emphasized that continued commitment to prudent macroeconomic policies and appropriate prioritization of reforms will be key to promoting nonoil growth, creating jobs for nationals, and achieving the objectives of the authorities’ Vision 2030 agenda.

“Real non-oil growth is expected to strengthen to 2.9 percent in 2019 as government spending and confidence increase, but real GDP growth is projected to slow to 1.9 percent as real oil growth slows to 0.7 percent with the implementation of the OPEC+ agreement.

“The fiscal deficit is projected to widen to 6.5 percent of GDP in 2019 from 5.9 percent of GDP in 2018 as spending is projected to increase and exceed the budgeted amount and offset an increase in non-oil revenues to 0.7 percent with the implementation of the OPEC+ agreement.

“The current account surplus is projected to narrow to 6.9 percent of GDP in 2019 from 9.2 percent of GDP in 2018 as oil export revenues moderates and import growth picks up,”they said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency