The newly ascended King Salman faces major economic challenges.
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Saudi Arabia's new king is expected to focus economic policy on creating jobs and multibillion dollar infrastructure projects to prevent tumbling oil prices from causing social tensions or undermining business confidence.King Salman, who took the throne in the early hours of Friday after the death of his brother King Abdullah, inherits an economy that faces its biggest challenge since the global financial crisis in 2008 .Emad Mostaque, strategist at Ecstrat, an emerging markets consultancy, said Salman would face pressure to ensure public support with state sector wage increases and other populist steps.Many of these projects are central to the long-term challenges that Salman will face: curbing rampant growth in domestic oil consumption so that it does not eat up supplies available for export, and diversifying the economy beyond energy so that Saudi Arabia can survive when its crude runs out decades from now.Salman has the bureaucratic skills to push such reforms.But as crown price, Salman already played a major role in running the economy over the past several years, so policy bears his imprint.
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