Saudi economy growth to slow this year, says finance minister

Ibrahim Alassaf says economy grew at close to 3.5% in 2015 but expects slightly slower rate this year
Saudi economy growth to slow this year, says finance minister
Saudi Minister of Finance Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz al-Assaf. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Reuters
Tue 22 Mar 2016 01:52 PM

Saudi Arabia's economy is expected to continue growing in 2016, albeit at a slower rate than last year, the finance minister said on Tuesday.

"The Saudi economy is still growing at good rates, close to 3.5 percent in 2015, and we expect the growth to continue positively however at a lower rate this year," Ibrahim Alassaf told a business conference in the Saudi capital.

While Alassaf rarely speaks in public, giving his remarks additional weight, his comments reflect the sentiments expressed by other Saudi officials and economists in recent weeks.

The kingdom's economy is likely to grow by about 2 percent in 2016, Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, deputy governor for research and international affairs at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, said earlier this month.

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