Saudi Arabia’s economy is largely oil-based with strong government controls on most economic activities. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter of petroleum and is an important member of the OPEC. The country’s petroleum sectors account for 45% of the GDP and 90% of the export earnings. The Saudi economy is also dependent on roughly 6 million overseas workers, mostly in the oil and service sectors. Saudi Arabia has been a member of the WTO since December 2005 to attract foreign investment.
During the oil price boom of 2004-2008, the Kingdom built ample financial reserves to offset the global downturn. However, falling oil prices in 2009 impacted the Saudi economy, prompting the postponement of several economic development projects. The Saudi government undertook remedial measures, such as direct capital injections into financial institutions, reduced rates and guaranteed bank deposits.
Saudi Arabia’s GDP-official exchange rate in 2009 was $379.5 billion. The following chart shows Saudi Arabia’s GDP (PPP) during 2007-2009. (All data are in US dollar billion.)
The next chart shows Saudi Arabia’s real growth rate during 2007-2009. (All data are in percentages.)
The following chart illustrates Saudi Arabia’s GDP-per capita during 2007-2009. (All data are in US dollars.)
The chart below shows the breakdown of Saudi Arabia’s GDP by sectors. (All data are in percentages.)