Saudi Arabia’s GDP shrank by 0.9% last year as falling oil prices and steep production cuts weighed on the economy. Although the non-oil sector was relatively robust with growth of nearly 5%, the oil sector contracted sharply, dragging the oil-reliant economy down overall.

This is a huge reversal from 2022, when, driven by a combination of high oil prices and record high production, Saudi Arabia’s economy grew at an eleven-year high rate of 8.7%. Last year’s ‘growth’ figure could yet be revised down further, with the IMF’s January update to its World Economic Outlook estimating that the Saudi economy shrank by 1.1%. The extent of the reversal in economic fortunes shows the scale of the task ahead as Riyadh pushes ahead with its economic reforms to reduce its dependence on oil revenues. (CONTINUED - 867 WORDS)