One of the richest nations on earth, Saudi Arabia Thursday had its sovereign credit rating lowered by Standard and Poor by one notch to A+/A-1 to A-/A-2 because of lower crude oil prices. "We now expect that Saudi Arabia's growth in real per capita gross domestic product will fall below that of peers and project that the annual average increase in the government's debt burden could exceed 7 percent of GDP in 2016-2019," said.
The S & P statement said the government revenue for the oil-rich kingdom will fall by about 16 percent. From the perspective of the ratings agency, Riyadh is pegging its budget to oil priced at around $45 per barrel. "We now assume $40 per barrel in 2016," the agency said.