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Having penciled in a balanced budget, Saudi Arabia is set to post a surplus of SR104bn ($27.7bn), or 3.5% of GDP, for 2014, according to local investment bank Jadwa.
Jadwa projects 2014 revenue at SR1,174bn ($313bn) and expenditure of SR1,070bn ($285bn), 37% and 25% respectively higher than the budget figure of SR855bn ($228bn).
Saudi Arabia typically uses highly conservative oil price assumptions in its budget forecasts – around $80/B for 2014 (MEES, 3 January) – making it all but inevitable that actual revenues will overshoot the budget figure.
NARROWING SURPLUS: SAUDI BUDGETS 2009-14 (SR BN)
SOARING SPENDING, FALLING SURPLUS
Indeed, whilst revenue is set to rise by only 3.8% from 2013, spending is set to soar by 15.7%; if Jadwa’s forecasts prove correct then Saudi Arabia will post its lowest budget surplus since 2009 (see table).
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