Oil drives Saudi Arabia’s 3Q current account surplus up 149%
Oil exports helped increase Saudi Arabia’s current account surplus by 148.7 percent in the three-month period ending in September, the Saudi Central Bank said in a report.
This signalled a reversal of a $0.7 billion deficit in the same period last year, with the surplus now standing at $21.7 billion.
The upswing in the current account balance was attributed to a strengthening surplus in the goods balance which reached $37.9 billion in the third quarter, up from $28.9 billion in the previous one.
In particular, oil exports surged by 19.4 percent — quarter-on-quarter — to stand at $55.1 billion while non-oil exports rose by 6.2 percent to $18.3 billion.
Moreover, the services trade deficit narrowed by 17.6 percent to hit $10.9 billion. Noticeably, the balance for financial services reversed a deficit of $220 million in the second quarter to a surplus of $473 million.
Workers’ remittances abroad went by a yearly 11.8 percent to be valued at $10.1 billion, in a sign that foreign employees are sending more money to their home countries.
Additionally, the Kingdom’s net foreign direct investment reached $1.75 billion in the third quarter, easing significantly from the previous quarter’s figure of $13.8 billion. Yet, it experienced an annual growth of 61.1 percent.
The second quarter figure for net FDI was the highest since 2010 and was mainly attributable to a $12.4 billion infrastructure deal between Aramco and a global investor consortium.