Saudi Budget Sees First Quarterly Surplus Since 2019 on High Oil
(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia recorded its first quarterly budget surplus in more than two years as higher crude prices boosted the kingdom’s finances.
The Gulf nation’s surplus during the third quarter was about 6.7 billion riyals ($1.8 billion), trimming the year-to-date deficit to 5.4 billion riyals, according to a report published by the Ministry of Finance on Sunday.
Oil revenue was about 148 billion riyals, an increase of 60% from the same period last year, while non-oil income decreased 22% on an annual basis to 95 billion riyals.
- Oil revenue so far this year is up 25% compared to a year ago
- Non-oil revenue year-to-date has risen 33% compared to 2020. The kingdom tripled its value-added tax in July 2020
- Third-quarter government wages increased 3% on an annual basis, while subsidies fell 47%
Officials expect next year’s budget shortfall to shrink to 1.6% of gross domestic product, as the kingdom raises its revenue expectations on higher oil prices and production. A revenue crunch during the pandemic pushed Saudi Arabia to increase value-added tax and trim public sector pay, drawing complaints from citizens.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.