RealNews

Saudi Economy Defies Terrorism Fears

Saudi Arabia’s economy is expected to deliver a second year of growth in 2004, helped by the highest sustained oil prices in more than two decades, though its performance is expected to fall short of the surprising 6 percent surge in output last year. In 2003 the economy had its most robust year since 1981, and investors expecting additional expansion are fueling a rally in local markets. Saudi Arabia’s leading stock gauge, the Tadawul all-shares index, which climbed 76 percent in 2003, is up an additional 11 percent so far this year, making it the best-performing market in the Middle East. Such figures are welcome news for a government seeking relief after years of tepid economic activity and attacks last year on Western and Saudi targets by Islamist extremists. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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