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HomeMiddle EastSaudi Arabia's Q3 GDP growth slows to lowest rate for over 3 years

Saudi Arabia's Q3 GDP growth slows to lowest rate for over 3 years

Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, grew by just 0.9 percent from a year earlier in the third quarter of 2016.

This compared to the 1.4 percent growth seen in the second quarter, according to data from the Central Department of Statistics showed.

The Q3 growth was the slowest recorded since 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

The slowdown comes as Saudi Arabia successfully cut into its huge state budget deficit this year and says it will increase government spending in 2017 to boost flagging economic growth.

The deficit shrank to 297 billion riyals ($79 billion) in 2016. That was well below a record 367 billion gap in 2015, and below the government’s projection in its original 2016 budget plan of a deficit of 326 billion riyals.

The financial challenges for Saudi Arabia stem largely from the fall in the global price of oil over the past two-and-a-half years.

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