IMF chief praises Saudi economic reforms

Christine Lagarde said that Saudi Arabia's real GDP growth to pick up in 2018
IMF chief praises Saudi economic reforms
The IMF expects real GDP growth to pick-up this year, Largarde said.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Sun 25 Mar 2018 09:37 AM

Saudi Arabia is making “good progress” in its economic reforms, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde.

Following a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Washington DC, Lagarde said that Saudi authorities are making “good progress in implementing their ambitious reform agenda including through the recent introduction of the VAT [value-added taxes] and measures to increase women’s participation in the economy.”

“The decision to slow the pace of fiscal adjustment as was set out in the 2018 budget is appropriate,” she added. “The IMF expects real GDP growth to pick-up this year.”

In November, an IMF report predicted that real GDP growth in Saud Arabia will strengthen from 2018 after a projected growth of 0.1 percent in 2017.

Jihad Azour, the IMF’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia, said that the Saudi Economy will be given a boost by its decision to allow women to drive, which will create more jobs and opportunities.

“Allowing women to participate further in the economy will provide additional output,” he said.

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