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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale transactions increased 16 percent to SR13.5 million ($3.59 million) in the week ending Sept. 3 compared to SR11.6 million clocked in the week ending Aug. 27, reported the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA.

The rise was mainly driven by an SR512.8 million increase in the value of food and beverage transactions, up 32.4 percent from the previous week.

The healthcare sector had the second largest increase in POS transaction value which amounted to SR176.5 million, increasing by 26.2 percent from the earlier week.

Gas stations came next with a rise of SR122.7 million worth of POS transactions in the week ending Sept. 3, showing an 18.5 percent rise week on week.

Though the scope of categories such as “other sectors” and “miscellaneous goods and services” could not be ascertained, these categories increased by SR327.5 million and SR264.8 million, respectively, during the period under review. However, hotels, clothing and footwear categories declined POS transactions in the week ending Sept. 3.

While hotel transactions declined by 13.3 percent or SR33.5 million, POS purchases of clothing and footwear fell by 7.9 percent or SR75.3 million, the SAMA data showed.

The Kingdom’s overall POS transactions rose 13.9 percent to 162,486 in the week ending Sept. 3 from 142,781 in the week ending Aug. 27.

According to SAMA, the number of POS transactions for food and beverages increased 14.2 percent to 37,577 in the week ending Sept. 3 from 32,917 a week earlier.

Restaurants and cafes came in next with an 11.5 percent rise; they increased by 4,541 in the week ending Sept. 3, amounting to a total number of POS transactions of 44,015.

“Other sectors” and “miscellaneous goods and services” followed with total POS transactions up by 3,023 and 2,551, respectively.

The POS values of hotels, clothing and footwear dropped in the number of transactions by 9.5 and 2.6 percent, respectively, compared to the previous week.

Riyadh led the Kingdom’s POS transactions with 43,127 transactions with a value of SR4.2 million in the week ending on Sept. 3, both up 13.1 percent from the week before.

The city with the most significant percentage jump in both the value and number of POS transactions was Tabuk.

The week-on-week change in Tabuk’s value of POS transactions was 41.7 percent, whereas the number of POS transactions increased by 28.3 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s aggregate POS transactions may have increased by SR10.7 billion in August, reaching SR56.4 billion, data compiled by Arab News from the SAMA weekly show.

The number of POS transactions may have risen by 120 million in August, reaching 732.3 million, up from 611.5 million in July.

The August data compiled by Arab News is based on the weekly reports from July 31 to Sept. 3. Therefore, the actual numbers might differ.



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