Saudi Arabia’s latest quarterly economic figures saw the kingdom post its first quarterly surplus since 1Q 2019, with oil revenues to the fore of the bumper Q3 takings. Oil accounted for more than 60% of total revenues for the first time since 2Q 2020, as Riyadh’s finances were buoyed by rising oil prices. Overall, Saudi Arabia secured a $1.8bn budget surplus for Q3, flipping from a $1.2bn deficit the previous quarter.

The Q3 results bring the cumulative deficit to $1.4bn for the first nine months of 2021, a massive improvement on the $49.1bn deficit it accrued over the same period last year. This leaves plenty of headroom against the revised-2021 budget’s forecast full year deficit of $22.7bn for 2021, although with expenditure typically spiking in Q4 the deficit may yet rise significantly. Nevertheless, even $22.7bn would still be the smallest annual deficit since 2013 (MEES, 1 October). (CONTINUED - 771 WORDS)