RIYADH, (Reuters) – The oil-based Saudi economy will continue to show “reassuring” growth rates despite the global financial crisis, which is expected to ease inflation, the economy minister said in remarks published on Tuesday.
The current crisis is “a global one that will affect almost all the world’s economies”, Economy and Planning Minister Khaled bin Mohammad al-Qusaibi wrote in a column in al-Jazirah newspaper.
“Forecasts by specialised local institutions — the economy and planning ministry … show that the Saudi economy will continue to achieve positive and reassuring growth rates over the next period,” he wrote.
The Saudi economy posted over the 2003-2007 period an average 5 percent economic growth per year, he said.
The world’s largest oil exporter, where inflation is close to a 30-year high, should benefit from expected reductions in food prices, construction and other input costs, he added.
The banking regulatory environment in Saudi Arabia is more “rational and conservative” than it is in the United States and other countries, Qusaibi said.