Oil Price Jump Sends Saudi Quarterly Revenue Up Annual 67%

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia’s second-quarter budget revenue increased 67 percent from the year-earlier period as higher oil prices helped boost income, the country’s Finance Ministry said in a statement on its website.

Revenue climbed to 273.6 billion riyals ($73 billion), boosted by an 82 percent increase in oil revenue, the ministry said on Wednesday. Non-oil revenue rose 42 percent to 89.4 billion riyals, while the budget deficit fell to 7.4 billion riyals, the ministry said.

While Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to transform the economy aims to reduce its reliance on crude in the long term, higher oil prices are central to efforts to support growth while introducing measures that would help boost revenue from other sources. Brent crude, an international benchmark, has gained 8.6 percent this year and was trading at more than $72 a barrel in London on Wednesday.

The figures “will lead us to continue our reform plans, aimed at achieving economic diversification and financial sustainability,” Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said in the statement.

Total expenditures for the second quarter rose 34 percent to 281 billion riyals, the ministry said. Public debt increased to 537 billion riyals at the end of the second quarter from 443.3 billion riyals at the start of the year, it said.

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