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Saudi Arabia Approves First Budget Without Deficit Since 2014


Saudi King Salman announces the 2022 budget at Neom Royal Palace, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 12, 2021. (Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters)

Saudi Arabia approved its 2022 budget on Sunday, projecting a surplus for the first time since oil prices collapsed in 2014.

King Salman said the improved fiscal situation for the world's biggest oil exporter comes "after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has overcome the economic repercussions and the exceptional stages of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Cited by the Saudi Press Agency, he said total expenditures were budgeted at 955 billion Saudi riyals ($255 billion) and revenues estimated at 1.045 trillion riyals, giving a surplus of 90 billion riyals.

If the projections are realized, it will be the first time that the Arab world's largest economy will see a surplus since 2013, when it reached 206 billion riyals.

"We aim to place further attention to the security and health of citizens and residents, human development, the continuation of economic growth and diversity, and financial sustainability," King Salman said.

Since 2016, the kingdom has embarked on a wide-ranging program to diversify its economy away from oil, which makes up the majority of its revenues.

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