Saudi Arabia’s economy shrank by 7% in the second quarter, a sign of how deeply the new coronavirus hit both the oil and non-oil sectors, while unemployment hit a record high of 15.4%, official data showed on Wednesday.
The world’s largest oil exporter is facing a deep recession after the COVID-19 pandemic curbed global crude demand and measures to contain the coronavirus hurt domestic activity.
The unemployment rate among Saudis at the end of the second quarter of 2020 is the highest historically, according to the available data.
At the same time, the Saudi gross domestic product at constant prices reached 597.8 billion riyals in the second quarter of this year, compared to 642.8 billion riyals in the comparative quarter of last year 2019, recording a decrease of 7%. This contraction was mainly due to the contraction of the oil sector by 5.3% due to the significant decline in oil prices in conjunction with the outbreak of the Corona virus.
As for the non-oil sector, it grew by 8.2% due to a contraction of the private sector by 10.1%, and the government sector by 3.5% in light of the complete closure during the second quarter.