Saudi Arabia’s Budget Deficit Drops 71%

Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit fell by 71 percent in the first quarter of this year, Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said on Thursday, after the Kingdom made sweeping spending cuts.

The deficit dropped to SR26 billion ($6.93 billion) in the first three months while compared to the same period last year following the cuts made as a result of the dramatic drop in oil revenues, Al-Jadaan told reporters during a press conference in Riyadh on Thursday

Al-Jadaan said his ministry has seen a SR144 billion in revenues and increase by 72 percent from last year’s figures.

The minister also announced that the first quarter’s expenses reached SR170 billion.

The Kingdom’s budget deficit was initially projected at $53 billion for this year.

There has been 115 percent increase in the oil revenues, reaching SR112 billion in the first quarter as against the same period in 2016.

Total non-oil revenues reached SR32 billion during the same time period.

“This is a very encouraging figure and clearly reflects our aim to achieve a balanced budget in 2020,” he said.