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Mon 28 May 2007 12:55 AM

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Saudi money-supply growth continues decline

Money-supply growth fell for the third consecutive month in March, SAMA says.

Saudi Arabian money-supply growth fell for the third month in a row in March, according to data released by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).

M3, the broadest measure of money supply, rose 15.7 % to 677.8 billion riyals ($180.7 billion) at March 31, compared with 585.8 billion riyals at March 31, 2006, SAMA data released on Saturday showed.

The rate of growth is slower than for each of January and February. Money-supply growth surged to a 19-month high in December.

SAMA's net foreign assets rose 35.2 % to 877.11 billion riyals, the data showed.

Commercial bank lending to the private sector, a gauge of investor confidence in the economy, rose 7.8 % to 482.2 billion riyals.

Lending to the public sector dropped almost 4 % to 124.4 billion riyals.

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