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Saudi Economy - January 2010

Source: JADWA Investment

Saudi Arabia: Lessons from the global crisis

Now that the global economy has begun to recover from the worst recession since the 1930s, what insights can we derive from the past year and a half for the Saudi economy?

First, the high degree of interconnectedness between the Saudi economy and the rest of the world was made abundantly clear. Impacts were felt not only through gyrations in the oil market, the dollar and global trade, but also in the banks, stock market, inflation and consumer spending and saving habits within the Kingdom. The important global role of Saudi Arabia was highlighted by its membership in the G20, the forum of the world?s 20 largest economies charged with formulating fixes for global problems.

The centrality of credit

Perhaps the most important unexpected impact is that the stress point for Saudi Arabia in this recession turned out to be more related to credit than oil. Oil prices tumbled over the second half of 2008 recording a peak to trough decline of 80 percent. However, the recovery was rapid. Oil prices doubled from their December lows in five months and, in early 2010, have traded with quite low volatility between $75 and $85 per barrel.

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