Saudi Q1 real GDP growth slows to 2.1%

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Saudi economic growth is closely linked to energy prices and crude oil output.

Saudi economic growth is closely linked to energy prices and crude oil output.

Growth in Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, slowed to 2.13 percent in the first quarter of 2013 from 6.5 percent a year ago, data from the Central Department of Statistics showed on Sunday.

The headline figures reflect a fall in Saudi crude oil output over the year, while growth in the non-oil private sector also slowed to 4.31 percent from 5.18 percent at constant 1999 prices.

The statistics department revised its first quarter 2012 GDP growth figure to 6.5 percent from the 8.3 percent growth rate it announced in April.

It did not revise its 4.4 percent growth reading for the last quarter of 2012.

Saudi economic growth is closely linked to energy prices and crude oil output, as well as to government spending which has risen sharply over the past decade.

Analysts polled by Reuters in April forecast that economic growth in the world's top oil exporter would slow to 4.1 percent in 2013 from 6.8 percent last year.

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