More than 81 per cent of Saudi Arabian citizens are confident that Saudi Arabia will recover from the global COVID-19 pandemic more quickly than other countries in the region, according to a research from APCO Worldwide
?As the strongest economy in the Middle East and the chair and host country of the 2020 G20 summit, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has an important role to play in restoring regional economic growth post coronavirus,? said Liam Clarke, managing director, Saudi Arabia for APCO Worldwide.
APCO?s study, conducted from 2-5 April 2020, asked more than 500 Saudi citizens from major population centres within the Kingdom their opinions on the impact of COVID-19 in the Middle East and the Government?s response to the pandemic.
Actions taken by the Government include closing malls, implementing curfews to limit gatherings and introducing a US$34.4bn stimulus package to support the national economy. A Royal Decree by King Salman announced that an additional US$2.4bn is available to pay part of the wages of private-sector workers to deter companies from laying off staff during the pandemic.
Around 76 per cent indicated that they believe the economic changes and reforms within the Kingdom in recent years have put the country in a better position to recover quickly to the widespread impact of COVID-19 than other nations in the region. Additionally, 58 per cent said that they would like to see the Kingdom help regional neighbours rebuild their economies after the pandemic.
Spending habits of Saudi citizens in COVID-19 pandemic
Around 40 per cent indicated that they are making fewer purchases than before the outbreak and 39 per cent said that they are spending more during the pandemic?with a bulk of their increased spending on essential items, like food.
Many Saudis support increased spending from the Government as a result of the pandemic, with 48 per cent of citizens indicating that cities should invest in resources to ensure they are well prepared to deal with future pandemics, opposed to only per cent who view the COVID-19 outbreak as a reason to slow growth and urban expansion.