Saudi Arabia exceeds budget surplus and economic growth forecasts

Crown Prince says country’s greatest assets are its citizens

This handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signing the state budget during a ministerial council meeting in the capital Riyadh, on December 7, 2022.  Saudi Royal Palace/AFP
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Saudi Arabia has recorded a budget surplus for 2022 of 102 billion riyals ($27.13 billion), which is 12 billion riyals higher than predicted figures.

Saudi King Salman on Wednesday chaired a Cabinet session announcing the state's general budget for the next fiscal year.

King Salman approved a 1.114 trillion riyal budget for 2023, expecting revenues of 1.13 trillion riyals next year.

“The Saudi citizen is the kingdom's greatest asset for success,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the kingdom's Prime Minister, said at the session.

“More than 2.2 million Saudis work in the private sector, which is the highest number in history."

Prince Mohammed said the government sought to provide a decent standard of living for citizens, especially those in the lower-income group.

He directed ministers to implement the budget programmes and social projects.

“We will continue to implement programmes and projects that have an economic and social return, and raise economic growth rates for the coming year and in the medium term,” Prince Mohammed said.

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King Salman said the budget took into account the comprehensive and sustainable development movement Saudi Arabia is witnessing to expand promising sectors and enhance the role of citizens in the growth of the economy.

“We affirm the continuation of work from the resources, minds and arms of the sons and daughters of the country to achieve the vision of the kingdom,” he said.

King Salman said all programmes aimed to enhance the quality of life for citizens, including increasing employment opportunities and improving the level of income.

It also aimed to develop the infrastructure of cities, and provide all services according to the highest international standards.

Prince Mohammed said the country’s economic transformation was continuing and the positive results achieved confirmed the success of economic and financial reforms aimed at enhancing growth.

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The Saudi Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al Jadaan, told the session that the kingdom was “the only country in the G20 whose economic forecasts doubled".

Mr Al Jadaan said the achievements of 2022 were the result of continuous work in earlier years.

He said capping “fuel prices locally was behind the decline in inflation in the kingdom, and we expect inflation to decline next year to 2.1 per cent".

Saudi Arabia’s inflation was previously recorded at 2.6 per cent in 2022.

Updated: December 08, 2022, 6:22 AM