(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product grew 6.64 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter of last year, accelerating from 5.1 percent growth in the third quarter.
The oil sector, which accounts for nearly a third of the economy, expanded 6.13 percent in the fourth quarter, the Central Department of Statistics and Information in Riyadh said in a report yesterday. The oil sector GDP rose to SR82.66 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The report said private sector growth, at 9.9 percent, outpaced the state sector's 3.6 percent expansion. Private sector GDP amounted to SR112.91 billion in the fourth quarter compared to SR102.75 billion in 2010.
The construction sector expanded 13.3 percent because of a real estate boom and heavy government spending on infrastructure.
In its report, the department also said that the value of the Kingdom's exports in February surged by 32 percent to reach SR38.61 billion compared to SR29.30 billion in the same period last year while the weight of the imports of Saudi Arabia amounted to 4507,000 tons against 3135,000 tons in the same period of last year, an increase of 44 percent.
China ranked first of countries exporting goods to Saudi Arabia, followed by the US, Germany, Japan and South Korea.
Saudi Arabia exported Saudi-origin nonoil goods to the GCC countries in the amount of SR2.32 billion compared to SR2.05 billion in the same period last year, an increase of 13 percent.
The UAE topped the list of exporters to and importers from Saudi Arabia among GCC countries with exports to UAE amounting to SR391 million and imports from it amounting to SR111 million, followed by Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
Saudi Arabia's nonoil exports in February 2012 amounted to SR14.31 billion, an increase of SR2.98 billion representing 26 percent.
The report said the exported weight reached 3878, 000 tons compared to 3408,000 tons in the same period last year, an increase of 470,000 tons representing 14 percent.
The report added that petrochemicals were the most goods exported in February 2012 amounting to SR5.28 billion, a rate of 37 percent, followed by plastic products in the amount of SR4.47 billion (31 percent), re-exported goods amounting to SR1.68 billion (12 percent), foodstuffs valued SR886 million (6 percent), ordinary minerals and their products fetching SR627 million (4 percent), and other goods totaling SR1.37 billion (10 percent).
China ranked first as Saudi Arabia's importer of its nonoil exports worth SR2.08 billion (14 percent), followed by the United Arab Emirates in the amount of SR1.53 billion (11 percent), Singapore with Saudi imports totaling SR836 million (6 percent), India amounting to SR800 million (6 percent), and Turkey in the amount of SR714 million (5 percent) and other countries with imports from Saudi Arabia amounting to SR8,36 million (58 percent).
Asian non-Arab and Islamic countries topped the list of Saudi Arabia's purchasing economic blocs of its nonoil in products in the amount of SR4.81 billion (34 percent), followed by the GCC bloc amounting to SR3.04 billion (21 percent), Arab League member states in the amount of SR2.31 billion (16 percent), European Union countries amounting to SR1.67 billion
(12 percent), non-Arab Islamic countries amounting to SR1.42 billion (10 percent) and other blocs in the amount of SR1.08 billion (7 percent).