Saudi Arabia is embarking on an increasingly expansionary fiscal policy in a bid to accelerate its Vision 2030 program of economic reforms. The upshot is official forecasts which indicate areturn to a budget deficit this year, although the conservative revenue assumptions on which these forecasts are based mean that in reality the kingdom could yet achieve a modest surplus for 2023 at least.

The Ministry of Finance’s freshly-released 2024 pre-budget statement includes sharp spending increases in the latest pivot towards an expansionary fiscal position (MEES, 7 October 2022). Planned spending for 2023 has now been increased by 13% against the original budget, with similar increases unveiled for 2024 and 2025 (see chart 1). (CONTINUED - 651 WORDS)