Saudi Arabia to Post Deficitless Budget After a Decade

Saudi Arabia approved its 2022 budget, projecting a surplus for the first time in eight years with the largest economy forecast to expand further.

After an expected fiscal deficit of 2.7 percent of gross domestic product this year, the Saudi Arabia estimates it will achieve a surplus of 90 billion riyals ($23.99 billion), or 2.5 percent of GDP, next year – its first surplus since it went into a deficit after oil prices crashed in 2013.

“The surpluses will be used to increase government reserves, to meet the Coronavirus pandemic needs, strengthen the kingdom’s financial position, and raise its capabilities to face global shocks and crises,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was quoted as saying by Saudi state press agency SPA.

“We aim to place further attention to the security and health of citizens and residents, human development, the continuation of economic growth and diversity, and financial sustainability,” King Salman said.

The King Salman furthered that “the financial and economic results and indicators confirm that we are progressing positively”.

Moreover, Saud’s Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan did not answer a question posed by AFP about the price per barrel on which the budget projections were based.

The kingdom produced about 9.8 million barrels per day in October, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

If the projections are realized, it will be the first time that the Arab world’s largest economy will see a surplus since 2013, when it reached 206 billion riyals.

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