Published in The National
Saudi Arabia’s third-quarter economic results were mixed. On the positive side, the fiscal balance improved: the 2017 deficit is expected to shrink to 8.6 per cent of GDP, compared to two consecutive years of over 15 per cent; while on the negative side, the IMF projected an anaemic growth rate of 0.1 per cent for the economy. These results have ignited a debate that is common to residents of western economies: is the government right to pursue austerity policies, or should it look to loosen the purse strings to stimulate the economy? The unconventional structure of Saudi Arabia’s economy means that answering this question requires a novel suite of analytical tools.
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