Research Briefing | May 27, 2021

MENA | GCC inflation; Saudi privatisation; Iranian nuclear deal

MENA | GCC inflation; Saudi privatisation; Iranian nuclear deal

Saudi Arabia’s inflation rose to 5.3% y/y in April from 4.9% y/y in March, but we expect the rate to ease in H2 as the base effects from last year’s VAT hike fades. Meanwhile, both Qatar and Oman registered positive inflation rates following a sustained period of deflation.

What you will learn:

  • Saudi Arabia aims to raise US$55bn by 2025 under the Vision 2030 privatisation programme in an effort to boost government revenues and narrow the fiscal deficit, estimated at 1.5% of GDP this year after 11.2% in 2020.
  • A one-month extension of the key monitoring pact between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran has been extended by a month, providing additional time for Iran and the US to reach an agreement that could see Iran return to the JCPOA in exchange for sanction relief.
  • Saudi Arabia’s inflation rose to 5.3% y/y in April from 4.9% the previous month, the lowest the lowest since the tripling of VAT to 15% in July last year. 

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