The Saudi Ministry of Finance announced on Wednesday the actual figures for the Kingdom’s budget for the year 2022. This budget recorded a fiscal surplus of 102 billion riyals, which constitutes 2.6% of the gross domestic product, supported by an increase in oil revenues.
Revenues in 2022 amounted to about 1.234 trillion riyals, compared to the estimate of 1.045 trillion riyals when drawing up the budget. In addition, expenditures were also higher than the initial estimates, at 1.132 trillion riyals, compared to the initial estimates of spending 955 billion riyals.
The last surplus the Kingdom’s budget achieved was in 2013, at 180 billion riyals. However, since 2014, the budget has been experiencing a deficit that reached its highest level in 2015 at 367 billion riyals. In 2016, the deficit was about 300 billion riyals, gradually decreasing until 2019, but the year of the pandemic (2020) caused the budget to record a leap in the deficit before it returned to decline in 2021.
The medium-term outlook indicates that those surpluses will continue to be recorded in the Saudi budget. These surpluses, according to expectations, will reach 71 billion riyals in the year 2025.
The ministry also revealed estimates of the Kingdom’s budget for the year 2023, which include expectations of a surplus of 16 billion riyals.
Next year, Saudi finance expects revenues of 1.130 trillion riyals, compared to expenses of 1.114 trillion riyals.
According to the Saudi Ministry of Finance, the 2023 budget aims to strengthen the government’s financial position by maintaining safe government reserves. This will enhance the Kingdom’s ability to deal with external shocks.
The fastest growth among the G20 countries
On the other hand, the Saudi economy grew by 8.5% in 2022. This is the fastest growth this year among the G20 countries, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund.
It is noteworthy that the Saudi budget recorded a surplus of about 14.14 billion riyals in the third quarter of 2022, after recording revenues of 301.87 billion riyals. This is compared to expenses of 287.73 billion riyals.
From the beginning of this year until the end of the third quarter, the Saudi budget recorded revenues of 950.19 billion riyals, compared to expenses of 800.65 billion riyals. This resulted in a surplus of about 149.54 billion riyals.
On the other hand, the total public debt in Saudi Arabia reached 985 billion riyals by the end of 2022, declining to 24.9% of GDP.