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    Saudi Arabia Economy 2000

      Economy - overview: This is an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. Saudi Arabia has the largest reserves of petroleum in the world (26% of the proved total), ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75% of budget revenues, 40% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. About 35% of GDP comes from the private sector. Roughly 4 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and service sectors. Saudi Arabia was a key player in the successful efforts of OPEC and other oil producing countries to raise the price of oil in 1999 to its highest level since the Gulf War by reducing production. Although oil prices are expected to remain relatively high in 2000, Riyadh expects to have a $7.5 billion budget deficit in part because of increased spending for education and other social problems. The government in 1999 announced plans to begin privatizing the electricity companies, which follows the ongoing privatization of the telecommunications company. The government is expected to continue calling for private sector growth to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil and increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population. Shortages of water and rapid population growth will constrain government efforts to increase self-sufficiency in agricultural products.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $191 billion (1999 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 1.6% (1999 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $9,000 (1999 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 6%
      industry: 47%
      services: 47% (1998 est.)

      Population below poverty line: NA%

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: NA%
      highest 10%: NA%

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): -1.2% (1999)

      Labor force: 7 million
      note: 35% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)

      Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 12%, industry 25%, services 63% (1999 est.)

      Unemployment rate: NA%

      Budget:
      revenues: $41.9 billion
      expenditures: $49.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

      Industries: crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, cement, construction, fertilizer, plastics

      Industrial production growth rate: 1% (1997 est.)

      Electricity - production: 110.132 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - production by source:
      fossil fuel: 100%
      hydro: 0%
      nuclear: 0%
      other: 0% (1998)

      Electricity - consumption: 102.423 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

      Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

      Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk

      Exports: $48 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

      Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 90%

      Exports - partners: Japan 17%, US 15%, South Korea 11%, Singapore 8%, India 4%, France 4% (1998)

      Imports: $28 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

      Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles

      Imports - partners: US 21%, UK 9%, Japan 9%, Germany 6%, France 5%, Italy 4% (1998)

      Debt - external: $28 billion (1998 est.)

      Economic aid - donor: pledged $100 million in 1993 to fund reconstruction of Lebanon; since 1993, Saudi Arabia has committed $208 million for assistance to the Palestinians

      Currency: 1 Saudi riyal (SR) = 100 halalah

      Exchange rates: Saudi riyals (SR) per US$1 - 3.7450 (fixed rate since June 1986)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

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    Revised 01-Nov-00
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