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DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian money supply growth picked up in December in a sign that the economy is regaining strength after a slump last year caused by low oil prices and government austerity measures, central bank data showed on Sunday.
Annual growth in M3 money supply, the broadest money supply measure, rose to 0.7 percent in December, its highest level since January 2016, from 0.1 percent in November. Growth in other forms of money supply accelerated by similar margins.
Bond - Sale - Government - October - Pressure
A $17.5 billion international bond sale by the government in October eased pressure on its finances and encouraged authorities to start settling tens of billions of dollars in unpaid state debts to the private sector.
A pick-up in global oil prices in the last few months, to around $55 a barrel from an average of about $45 in 2016, has also allowed the government to loosen its purse strings slightly.
Government - Spending - Development - Projects - Drop
More active government spending on economic development projects was seen in a sharp drop in government deposits at the central bank allocated for such projects. Those deposits fell by 44.5 billion riyals ($11.9 billion) from the previous month to 190.0 billion riyals in December, their lowest...
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