May 23, 2012
Saudi finance minister Ibrahim Alassaf has said the kingdom will feel only a limited impact from the euro zone debt crisis and will not cut spending, even if there is a fall in oil prices, Reuters has reported. "We are in a very comfortable fiscal position," he said, adding that he expected inflation to ease after hitting highs earlier this year. Saudi Arabia's annual inflation rate edged slightly lower to 5.3% in April from a 14-month high of 5.4% in February. The rise was mainly due to upward pressure from higher food and housing costs but inflation is far below a record high of 11.1% hit during an oil boom in July 2008.