Saudi economy grew 6.6% in Q4 last year

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Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.6% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier on additional government spending and higher oil prices, a Bloomberg report suggested citing the Central Department of Statistics and Information’s website.

The state-run agency announced on its website that the government sector expanded by 3.6% and the private sector by 9.9% while country’s vital oil industry expanded by 6.1%.

Last year, the kingdom’s economy benefited from a 23% increase in government spending as Saudi rulers created jobs and initiated construction projects in order to avert social unrest that swept other neighbouring countries like Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Oman.

High oil prices that averaged around $95 a barrel last year, up from US$80 in 2010, helped government spend an additional SAR224bn ($60bn). The economy registered a full-year growth of 6.8% in 2011, the fastest in eight years.

According to the median estimate of 13 economists compiled by Bloomberg, growth will probably dip to 3.8% this year due to lower oil output.

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