Saudi Arabia

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Introduction - Saudi Arabia:
Location - Saudi Arabia:
People - Saudi Arabia:
Government - Saudi Arabia:
Economy - Saudi Arabia:

Economy overview

Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses 25% of the worlds proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75% of budget revenues, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. About 40% of GDP comes from the private sector. Roughly 5.5 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, particularly in the oil and service sectors. The government is encouraging private sector growth to lessen the kingdoms dependence on oil and to increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population. The government is promoting private sector and foreign participation in the power generation, telecom, natural gas, and petrochemical industries. As part of its effort to attract foreign investment and diversify the economy, Saudi Arabia acceded to the WTO in December 2005 after many years of negotiations. With high oil revenues enabling the government to post large budget surpluses, Riyadh has substantially boosted spending on job training and education, infrastructure development, and government salaries. The government has announced plans to establish six economic cities in different regions of the country to promote development and diversification.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$366.2 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$276.9 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

2.4% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$13,600 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 67%
services: 29.8% (2006 est.)

Labor force

7.125 million
note: more than 35% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 12%
industry: 25%
services: 63% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate

13% among Saudi males only (local bank estimate; some estimates range as high as 25%) (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

1.9% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

16.2% of GDP (2006 est.)


revenues: $189.2 billion
expenditures: $107.6 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt

32.5% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk


crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals; ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics; metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction

Industrial production growth rate

1.9% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

155.2 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

144.4 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

9.475 million bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil consumption

1.845 million bbl/day (2004)

Oil exports

8.554 million bbl/day (2004)

Oil imports

0 bbl/day (2004)

Oil proved reserves

261.9 billion bbl (1 January 2005 est.)

Natural gas production

65.68 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

65.68 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

6.654 trillion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

$103.8 billion (2006 est.)


$204.5 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

petroleum and petroleum products 90%

Exports partners

Japan 17.6%, US 15.8%, South Korea 9.6%, China 7.2%, Singapore 4.4%, Taiwan 4.4% (2006)


$64.16 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles

Imports partners

US 12.2%, Germany 8.5%, China 7.9%, Japan 7.2%, UK 4.8%, Italy 4.8% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$31.63 billion (2006 est.)

Economic aid donor

since 2000, Saudi Arabia has committed $307 million for assistance to the Palestinians; pledged $230 million to development in Afghanistan; pledged $1 billion in export guarantees and soft loans to Iraq; pledged $133 million in direct grant aid, $187 million in concessional loans, and $153 million in export credits for Pakistan earthquake relief; pledged a total of $1.59 billion to Lebanon in assistance and deposits to the Central Bank of Lebanon in 2006 and pledged an additional $1.1 billion in early 2007

Debt external

$47.39 billion (2006 est.)

Currency code

Saudi riyal (SAR)

Exchange rates

Saudi riyals per US dollar - 3.745 (2006), 3.747 (2005), 3.75 (2004), 3.75 (2003), 3.75 (2002)

Communications - Saudi Arabia:
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This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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Saudi Arabia

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