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Saudi Economy Expected to Contract as World Bank Forecasts Decline in Oil Production

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Saudi Arabia's Economy to Contract on Lower Oil Production, World Bank Warns

Saudi Arabia's economic output is expected to shrink this year due to a series of oil-supply cuts, posing a risk to the kingdom heavily reliant on energy prices and crude production, according to the World Bank. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to contract by 0.9% in 2023, as per the World Bank's latest economic update for the region. This comes after Saudi Arabia experienced the fastest economic growth among the Group of 20 countries in 2022. Analysts, including Bloomberg Economics, also predict a contraction in the economy due to extended production cuts until the end of the year.

Revised Growth Outlook for the Middle East

The World Bank has revised down its economic growth forecast for the wider Middle East, now expecting it to reach nearly 2% in 2023. The downward revision is attributed to the oil-production cuts announced by OPEC+ in October 2022 and April 2023, as well as the additional cuts announced by Saudi Arabia in June 2023.

Continued Reliance on Oil

Despite efforts to diversify the Saudi economy under Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's Vision 2030 plan, oil remains crucial to the country's economy. In 2022, oil accounted for 80% of exports, which increased to 93% when including chemicals and plastics derived from crude. In conclusion, the World Bank's warning about Saudi Arabia's contracting economy due to lower oil production highlights the challenges faced by the kingdom in reducing its reliance on oil. This serves as a reminder of the importance of diversification and implementing effective economic reforms to ensure sustainable growth and resilience in the face of fluctuating oil markets.

The Impact of Saudi Arabia's Contracting Economy on New Businesses

The World Bank's recent warning about Saudi Arabia's shrinking economy due to lower oil production presents a significant development for new businesses, particularly those operating in or trading with the Middle East. The projected 0.9% contraction in Saudi Arabia's GDP in 2023, as well as the downward revision of the economic growth forecast for the wider Middle East, could pose challenges for new businesses in terms of market stability and growth prospects.

Understanding Market Dynamics

The contraction of Saudi Arabia's economy and the revised growth outlook for the Middle East underscore the importance of understanding market dynamics for new businesses. These changes could affect demand and supply patterns, pricing, and overall market stability, which new businesses need to factor into their strategies.

Importance of Diversification

Saudi Arabia's continued reliance on oil, despite diversification efforts, highlights the risks of over-reliance on a single sector or commodity. This serves as a valuable lesson for new businesses about the importance of diversification to mitigate risks and ensure sustainable growth.
Adapting to Economic Reforms
The World Bank's warning also emphasizes the need for effective economic reforms to ensure resilience in fluctuating markets. New businesses should be prepared to adapt to such reforms and leverage them to their advantage. In conclusion, while the contraction of Saudi Arabia's economy presents challenges, it also offers lessons and opportunities for new businesses in terms of understanding market dynamics, the importance of diversification, and the need to adapt to economic reforms.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/world-bank-says-saudi-economy-to-shrink-on-lower-oil-production
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