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File photo used for representational purpose. (AP)
File photo used for representational purpose. (AP)

Saudi Arabia's vehicle imports fall to record lows after massive hike in VAT

  • VAT has been tripled in Saudi Arabia, a country where imported vehicles are a common sight.
  • The last spurt in sales was in June when there was pent-up demand post lockdown and people rushing to buy before the hiked VAT came into effect.

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. 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%.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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