Economic Research

In-depth reports on key economic issues.

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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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    Mon, 21 July 2014

    Quarterly Oil Market Update (Q2 2014)

    Global oil demand in Q2 2014 increased by 1 million barrels per day (mbpd) year-on-year, whilst falls in OPEC production saw global supply limited to increases of 0.4 mbpd, year-on-year. Non-OPEC supply will exceed global demand growth in 2014 but geopolitical events will prevent any sustained fall in oil prices. As a result, we have revised our Brent oil forecasts upwards from $105 per barrel previously, to an average of $109 per barrel for 2014. We have also revised our Saudi crude production forecasts upwards to 9.7 mbpd for 2014, from 9.4 mbpd previously.

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