By Davide Barbuscia
DUBAI, Sept 30 (Reuters) – 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, 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 private sector and the government sector recorded a negative growth rate of 10.1% and 3.5%, respectively,” said the General Authority for Statistics.
In the first quarter, Saudi Arabia posted a 1% economic contraction, but that only captured part of the oil price collapse and the pandemic impact, which escalated in March.
Back then, the oil sector slumped by 4.6%, while the non-oil sector posted a positive growth rate of 1.6%.
But the coronvirus-driven lockdowns were bound to impact the Saudi economy hard