So far this year, the Saudi economy has been supported by strong consumer spending.
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The private sector in the two biggest Gulf Arab economies grew at the slowest pace in years in October, corporate surveys showed Tuesday, indicating low oil prices are starting to slow business activity across the region.The equivalent index for the United Arab Emirates, which measures growth in private manufacturing and services excluding oil, fell to a 30-month low of 54.0 .Until the last few months, heavy government spending in the region's six wealthy oil states insulated them from low oil prices. A Reuters poll of 24 economists, conducted in mid-October, predicted Saudi gross domestic product growth would ease to a median 2.5 percent next year from 3 percent this year. Growth in the UAE is seen edging down to 3.3 percent from 3.5 percent.Many economists are assuming oil prices will begin a gradual recovery next year.This year, the Saudi economy has been supported by strong consumer spending.
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