[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 5 December 2005, 21:44 GMT
Saudi economy 'expanding rapidly'
Shoppers in a Riyadh market
Saudi Arabia is trying to avoid putting all its eggs in one basket
Saudi Arabia will see strong economic growth this year, fuelled by rocketing oil prices, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The world's biggest oil producer should see its current account surplus reach 30% of gross domestic product this year, the IMF's annual review said.

And government debt levels should drop to about 45.5% of GDP.

The country has enjoyed a 34% leap in oil revenues this year as crude prices have hit record levels.

The IMF praised the Saudi government for its "prudent macroeconomic management" and its effective use of oil revenues to invigorate the private sector.

'Constructive role'

The Fund said Saudi Arabia now faced challenges in how to manage the boost in domestic revenues without derailing reforms to the non-oil sector.

These reforms have created jobs and improved the country's resistance to any potential shocks in the oil market.

"The favourable fiscal outlook offers both opportunities and challenges over the medium term," the Washington-based IMF said.

It praised the country's plans to expand oil production and refining activity if global demand remains strong.

Saudi Arabia, it said, had played "a constructive role in support of oil market stability".

The Fund undertakes a review of all its member countries once a year.


SEE ALSO:
Saudi WTO membership approved
11 Nov 05 |  Business
Muslims urge Islamic free trade
03 Oct 05 |  Business
Oil prices peak on Saudi threat
08 Aug 05 |  Business


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific