Saudi Arabia reduces budget deficit by 8.2 bln USD in H1

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Saudi Arabia reduced state budget deficit in the first half of the year by around 8.2 billion U.S. dollars, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

Saudi Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, attributed the reason to the successful implementation of several initiatives to develop non-oil revenues, elevate the efficiency of spending, and improve the subsidy beneficiaries’ targeting mechanisms.

The minister pointed out that GDP grows 1.2 per cent in the Q1 of 2018, compared to a negative growth of 0.8 per cent for the same period of last year.

The Finance Ministry expected the total 2019 budget expenditure to reach 294.9 billion dollars, 7 per cent higher than projected expenses for this fiscal year, due to higher financing expenses, subsidies, social benefits and other expenses.

Saudi Arabia works for continuing decline in deficit gradually over the medium term, from 4.1 per cent of GDP in 2019 to 3.7 per cent of GDP in 2021, until it reaches the fiscal balance by 2023 driven by an average annual growth rate in revenues of 6 per cent.