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Tue 9 Mar 2010 10:34 AM

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Saudi families spend twice what they earn - economist

Education, amusement and eating out account for 181 percent of a family income.

Saudi families spend twice what they earn - economist
FLASH THE CASH: Saudis are spending twice what they earn, according to a respected Kuwaiti economist.

Families in Saudi Arabia spend nearly twice as much as they earn, an economist was quoted as saying in a report on Tuesday.

“Education, amusement and eating out account for more than 181 percent of a family income in Saudi Arabia,” Kuwaiti economist Jassem Al-Mutwwa told Arab News.

As part of a lecture in Jeddah on personal finance, Al-Mutwwa said research showed that Saudi families overspend on personal articles and services by an average of eight percent.

He also pointed out that while Saudi families spend a lot less on housing and health care than in other areas of the world, they are increasing their spending each month on hotels and cafes, beverages, personal articles and services.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that 52 percent of Saudi youths have some form of personal debt and 66 percent of this is on credit cards, according to the Second Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, which interviewed 300 Saudi youths aged 18 to 24 years in October last year.

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hatim 10 years ago

the "Dr" is not an economist and he is actually a family-related knowledgeable guy. also you, and arabnews, misquoted him and misunderstand the message. he meant that spending increased by 181% which doesn't mean overspending always. may be 10 years ago saudis used to spend 100 riyals but now spend 262 riyals. if saudis spend twice what they earn then all people would be in debt.

Raj 10 years ago

Rightly pointed out. If the expenditure is more than the income, then everyone should be in debt. Pls. correct your article. It has been grossly mis-understood/mis-interpreted.

Anonymous 10 years ago

I think something is wrong...twice what they earn? I don't believe this is correct.

Sarah 10 years ago

Spending more than what one earns is extremely easy with the aid of credit card and lure of shopping malls and attractive entertainment. Most Saudi wives and teenage children spend lavishly using supplementary credit cards given by husband/father with little awareness of the limit of their income. It's about time for the government to promote more meaningful hobbies for the women and youth in place of shopping, eating and watching tv.

SAJ 10 years ago

I work in a company employing about 45 saudi's......2 days after we receive our salaries 80% of the saudi's will be either running for a salary advance, short term loan from friends,planning a jamia or asking for some form of financial loan. Moreover, most of these employees either have a bank loan or credit card payment. The DR here may be wrong in his assumptions but the trend in saudi arabia is seriously worrying.

lakshman Dalpadado 10 years ago

If you earn USD 1000 and ask for another USD 1000 from your parents, dip into savings, pawn some goods you own, or liquidate capital you have, then you can spend USD 2000 without getting into debt- at least for sometime. Thats what most people do - until they have no savings or capital left.

Mike 10 years ago

Laxman, Raj and the likes, we need not worry about saudis income and spending, their govt will take care of them even if they overspend.