Saudi Arabia's vehicle imports fall to record lows after massive hike in VAT
Saudi Arabia’s vehicle imports plummeted in July to the lowest level since 2015 - the earliest data available - after the government tripled its value-added tax.
Imports of vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment fell 64% year-on-year to 3.9 billion riyals ($1 billion), and by over a quarter from the previous month.
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That helped drag down overall imports by more than 30% annually after they appeared to recover in June.
Officials and analysts attributed a June spike in consumer spending to pent-up demand after the government lifted its coronavirus lockdown - and to Saudis rushing to beat the hike in VAT to 15%.