By Andy Sambidge
BMI report says consumer spending per capita set to increase by 24%, reaching $5,246.
Retail sales in Saudi Arabia are projected to grow to just under $100bn by 2013, driven by increasing urbanisation and strong underlying economic growth, a new report has said.
Business Monitor International's latest retail report on the kingdom said sales would increase from $76bn in 2008 to an estimated $97bn in 2013.
The research firm's study said Saudi Arabia’s nominal GDP growth slowed to an estimated 0.5% in 2009 as the economy was hit by the global economic downturn.
But it added that average annual GDP growth of 3 percent was now predicted by BMI until 2013.
"With the population increasing from 24.4m in 2008 to an estimated 26.5m by 2013, consumer spending per capita is predicted to rise by more than 24 percent by the end of the forecast period, reaching $5,246," it said.
It also said the retail sector would continue to benefit from the large number of Muslim tourists visiting the country to take part in the hajj and umrah pilgrimages every year.
The report added that increasing urbanisation was also driving retail sales, with 90 percent of the population categorised by the UN as urban by 2010.
The UN also described more than 65 percent of the population as economically active by 2015.
About 46 percent of the population are forecast to be in the crucial (for retail sales) 20-44 age range by 2015, the UN added.