Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance on 30 September published its pre-budget statement for 2021. The report highlights the extent of the carnage wreaked on the economy this year by the twin shocks of the coronavirus pandemic and resultant oil price collapse.

The ministry estimates that GDP will decline 3.8% this year in real terms, with a relatively stronger performance in the second half of the year forecast to help offset the damage wrought in the first half. Having dropped by 1.0% in Q1, GDP fell by a staggering 7.0% in Q2 (see chart 1) amid tight coronavirus-restrictions and the oil price crash. (CONTINUED - 883 WORDS)