Economic Research

In-depth reports on key economic issues.

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    Tue, 18 November 2014

    Outlook for crude oil refining- focus on the Saudi refining sector in global context

    Saudi Arabia will see 1.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) of new refining capacity come online by 2020. This includes the Satorp refinery, which is already up and running, and the Yasref refinery, which will start up in Q4 2014. This major investment in downstream sector by the Kingdom coincides with a huge growth in modern refineries in countries such as India and China, which will add around 7 mbpd of highly complex capacity globally by the end of the decade. The purpose of this report is to highlight the key trends in the international refining sector and to analyze the impact of these developments on the Saudi refining sector.

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    Wed, 29 October 2014

    Inflation update (September 2014): Food and rental inflation accelerate

    The Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI) has released Consumer Price Index data for September, showing a rise in prices by 2.8 percent year-on-year, staying at the same level compared to the previous month. Foodstuffs and housing have continued to be the main sources of inflation as they all accelerated in August and September.  We expect external factors’ contribution to inflation to remain subdued, particularly given a strengthening USD and the bleaker prospects of global economic growth. We revise our estimates for average annual inflation to 2.8 percent for 2014, slightly down from 2.9 percent.

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    Wed, 01 October 2014

    Quarterly Oil Market Update (Q3 2014)

    In Q3 2014 oil prices dropped by 7.3 percent to an average of $102 per barrel. We believe this was due to a combination of accelerating US supply, weaker than expected global demand, stabilization in geopolitics, and an appreciation of the dollar. Oil prices will recover slightly in Q4 2014 but ample supply from non-OPEC sources will prevent prices from rising too far beyond $100 per barrel, unless there is a significant deterioration in geopolitics in Iraq, Libya or Russia/Ukraine.  We expect Saudi production to 9.5 mbpd in Q4 2014, resulting in 9.7 mbpd average for 2014. In 2015, as the global economy recovers and oil demand picks up, we see Saudi production averaging 9.6 mbpd.

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    Mon, 29 September 2014

    Quarterly GDP update: Oil sector dragged down overall growth in Q2

    Latest economic growth data released by CDSI show a real economic growth of 3.8 percent year-on-year, 1.3 percentage point lower than in the first quarter of this year. Contribution to growth has changed compared to the previous quarter and has become more dependent on the non-oil sector. We assume that year-on-year economic growth will be lower in the second half of the year, owing to a decline in oil sector output, while the non-oil private sector will remain robust. 

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    Tue, 12 August 2014

    Macroeconomic update: Economic projections for 2014 revised up

    We have revised some of our 2014 forecasts to take account of a recent flow of data that has generally been stronger than we had anticipated. With higher than expected year-to-date oil prices and output, we have revised up our forecast upwards for both. Higher public spending and robust credit growth should support non-oil growth with construction, transport, manufacturing and retail sectors in the lead. A slowdown in global growth and geopolitical tensions constitute key risks, though they are less acute and more evenly balanced than in recent years.

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