Saudi personal wealth peaks

GDP per capita income in Saudi Arabia soared to an all time high in 2011 and is projected to break a new record in 2012 due to strong oil prices and high crude production by the Arab world’s largest economy. 

The per capita income in the world’s oil superpower leaped from around $16,612 in 2010 to a record high of $20,651 in 2011 and is forecast to hit an all time high of nearly $22,573 in 2012, the Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment said in a study. 

The level will break a new record although the Gulf kingdom’s population is projected to grow by about 2.9 per cent or nearly 800,000 from 27.1 million at the end of 2011 to around 27.9 million at the end of 2012, said the report, sent to Emirates 24/7. 

It attributed the surge this year to a 12.7 per cent growth in the country’s nominal GDP to around SR2.43 trillion in 2012 from SR2.16 trillion in 2011. 

The report said the rise in GDP, which followed a 28 per cent leap in 2011, would be a result of high oil prices and output by Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil supplier. 

It estimated the average price to Saudi crude at around $109 a barrel this year compared with $103.5 in 2011. The Kingdom’s crude output is also expec5ed to swell to one of its highest levels of 9.9 million bpd against 9.3 million bpd in 2011. 

Jadwa’s forecasts showed higher oil prices and output would lift Saudi Arabia’s crude export earnings to a record high of around $322 billion in nominal prices this year. It said this would allow Riyadh to record its highest ever current account surplus of $167 billion and widen its budget surplus to $SR348 billion from SR291 billion in 2011. 

The surpluses are expected to boost the Saudi government’s foreign assets by nearly $80 billion to their highest level of around $700.3 billion at the end of 2012. 

Like other Gulf states, Saudi Arabia is heavily reliant on oil sales and lower crude prices in previous years depressed its GDP per capita to $13,503 in 2005 compared with more than $15,000 in 2000. The price improvement lifted the per capita income to around $14,806 in 2006 and $15,523 in 2007 before they jumped to $18,651 in 2008, when crude prices were as high as $95 a barrel. 

Saudi Arabia’s population, the sixth largest in the Arab world, was estimated at nearly 23.4 million at the end of 2005. It recorded steady growth of more than two per cent in the follow years to reach 27.9 million at the end of 2011. Jadwa expected it to rise to 28.8 million at the end of 2012 and 28.7 million at the end of 2013.


[Image via Shutterstock]

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