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MENA Weekly: Saudi Q1 GDP and May FX reserves, Egypt rates steady

Saudi Arabia’s economy shrank by 1.0% y/y in Q1 2020, dragged down by the oil sector which fell by 4.6%. Despite the onset of the virus-related lockdown in March, non-oil GDP held up, expanding by 1.6%. We continue to expect a deeper GDP fall in Q2, with both oil and non-oil GDP declining, leading to a full-year contraction of 7.1% in 2020. Relaxation of public spending restraint would boost recovery prospects.

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