Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that it achieved economic growth of about 12 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2021, thanks to the revenues of the oil sector.
Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Middle East, benefited from the high oil prices caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the world’s largest oil exporter has resisted Western requests to increase the production of black gold to curb its prices.
The Saudi General Authority for Statistics stated in a report published on its website that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth amounted to 11.8 percent in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year, according to “rapid estimates” it conducted.
“This positive growth is due to the significant increase in oil activities by 23.1 percent,” it said.
It added that non-oil activities rose by 5.4 percent, and government services activities rose by 2.2 percent, compared to the same period last year.
The war in Ukraine and the resulting rise in crude oil prices was a positive factor for oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, whose gross domestic product is expected to grow by 7.6 percent in 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
After the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and the UAE confirmed their commitment to the OPEC + oil alliance led by Riyadh and Moscow, underlining the increasing independence of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi from their Washington ally.
Oil was on the agenda of US President Joe Biden’s meeting with the leaders of the Kingdom, but the visit ended without an agreement to increase production.
A senior US official told reporters Thursday that Washington still believes in the possibility of increasing oil production.
“We are optimistic about the possibility of positive announcements from the next OPEC meeting” this week, the official said.