The Saudi economy is set to post growth of 1.9% in 2018 according to the IMF, which raised its fore- cast from 1.7%. The outlook was contained in a positive outlook in its Article IV annual assessment of the economy. Growth is expected to pick-up further over the medium-term as the reforms take hold and oil output increases. The economy grew at annual pace of 1.2% in the three months to March. GDP had dropped from a year earlier in every quarter of 2017 as the agreement to cut production quotes by members of the OPEC cartel caused Saudi Arabia to cut back its crude output. For the whole of 2017, GDP shrank 0.7%. Hopes that this first0quarter growth will be maintained were supported by a key survey of the private sector. There was a pronounced rebound in private sector growth in June 2018 from a snapshot survey of purchasing managers. The NDB Emirates index to 55.1 in August 2018 from 54.9 in July on a scale where a number above 50 signifies expansion. The rise was based on stronger output and new orders growth. Many firms linked higher activity to stronger inflows of new business. The International Monetary Fund used its April 2018 biannual economic forecasts to raise its growth estimate for each of the coming years. The IMF has upgraded its forecasts for both 2019 and 2020 to 1.9%, up from 1.6% and 1.9% respectively. However there was note of caution from private analysts Capital Economics. The research house said its own GDP Track- er pointed to a slowdown in April although it said that would be temporary.