(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Saudi Arabia has been one of the best performing G20 economies in recent years with real GDP growth averaging 5.9 percent per annum during 2008-13.
The authorities recently announced their 2014 state budget plan, projecting another expansionary budget to continue the process of diversifying the economy
Based on a conservative oil price assumption of 80 per barrel, government revenues and expenditures are expected to be 228 billion in 2014
The budget includes substantial additional outlays for education, health and infrastructure, despite expected declines in oil revenues, Arab News daily reported. The nonoil private sector is expected to be the key driver of growth in 2014, boosted by large public sector infrastructure investment and the rapidly growing population, the newspaper said
Nonoil growth grew by a robust 5.0 percent year-on-year in 2013 as consecutive years of elevated government spending lifted business and consumer confidence and banks' comfort in lending
In terms of sectors, the budget announcement indicated that the fastest growing sectors in 2013 were the construction (8.1 percent), the transport and communication (7.2 percent), as well as the retail sector (6.1 percent)
The nonoil sector is expected to continue growing strongly this year reflecting government-led infrastructure projects
The near-term KSA macroeconomic outlook is positive with a small recovery in oil production lifting real GDP growth to 4.4 percent in 2014, reported the newspaper.