Saudi 2013 GDP up 3.8%: central bank

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia's GDP grew by 3.8 percent in 2013, media on Sunday quoted Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) governor Fahad al-Mubarak as saying.

The International Monetary Fund said last May that it expected growth in the largest Arab economy to fall to 4.4 percent in 2013 from 6.8 percent the previous year, blaming an anticipated drop in oil production and government spending.

Mubarak said the 2013 budget surplus was 180 billion riyals ($48 bn), or 6.5 percent of gross domestic product.

In 2012, the budget surplus was 386 billion riyals ($102.93 bn).

He said the current account surplus was 486.7 billion riyals ($130 bn), or 17.4 percent of GDP.

Inflation rose from 2.9 percent in 2012 to 3.5 percent last year but "remains under control", Mubarak said.

Meanwhile, public debt dropped to 75 billion riyals ($20 bn), or 2.7 percent of GDP.

Saudi Arabia has been using part of its massive oil revenue to repay its public debt.

The IMF had advised Riyadh to gradually raise energy prices to cut consumption which has been rising rapidly because of the kingdom's growing population.