Saudi Arabia posted its first rise in non-oil exports for eight months in January, according to latest data released by the country’s Central Department of Statistics and Information.
The value of Saudi Arabia’s imports shrank 11.6 percent to SR43.2 billion from a year earlier in January while non-oil exports rose by 10.3 percent to more than SR14 billion over the same period.
Non-oil exports traditionally account for around 12 percent of the overall exports of Saudi Arabia. The world’s largest oil exporter does not release complete trade data on a monthly basis.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s credit worthiness was cut one level by Fitch Ratings, which said low oil prices were worsening public and external finances.
Fitch reduced Saudi Arabia’s rating to A+, the fifth-highest investment grade, and changed the outlook to stable from negative.
Saudi Arabia, where more than 60 percent of government revenue last year came from oil, reported a 15 percent rise in the federal government budget deficit to 17.3 percent of economic output in 2016, Fitch said.
Net foreign assets of the central bank, or the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, fell by $49.5 billion, or 7.7 percent of gross domestic product, between June 2016 and January 2017.