RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has reported a budget surplus of SR149.6 billion ($40 billion) in the first nine months of 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Finance.
The data showed revenues amounting to SR950.2 billion, compared to expenditures of SR800.7 billion.
Oil revenues fell by 8.5 percent in the third quarter to reach SR 229.02 billion, but it recorded a 55 percent jump on an annual basis.
With regards to the Kingdom’s non-oil revenues, this fell by 39 percent in the third quarter, on a quarterly basis, to SR72.8 billion, and 24 percent on an annual basis.
The latest budget figures have exceeded the Ministry’s previously announced expectations, with it announcing In September it expected the surplus to hit SR90 billion.
Looking at the full-year 2022 projections, real GDP is expected to grow by 8 percent, while inflation in 2022 may record about 2.6 percent.
Looking at the next year’s projections, Saudi total revenues are expected to reach about SR1.12 trillion in 2023, while reaching about 1.21 trillion in 2025, according to the Ministry of Finance's preliminary statement of the state's general budget for the year 2023.
Total expenditures are expected to reach about SR1.11 trillion in the next fiscal year 2023, and that the expenditure ceiling will reach about SR1.13 trillion in 2025.
The objectives of the state’s general budget for the fiscal year 2023 come as a continuation of the process of work to strengthen and develop the financial position of the Kingdom, the finance minister said.
“The government attaches great importance to enhancing the support and social protection system and accelerating the pace of strategic spending on Vision programs and major projects to support economic growth,” Mohammed Al-Jadaan said.
The Kingdom’s economy has demonstrated its strength and durability by achieving high growth rates, after taking many policies and measures with the aim of protecting the economy from the repercussions of inflation and supply chain challenges, he added.
The surplus comes amid attempts by the Saudi government to diversify its economy away from oil.
Last week, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will establish five more regional investment companies, in Jordan, Bahrain, Sudan, Iraq, and the Sultanate of Oman.
This decision came after the launch of the Saudi Egyptian Investment Co. in August.
Across all six companies the value of the targeted investments will reach SR90 billion in opportunities across various sectors.
Companies will invest in infrastructure, real estate development, mining, healthcare, financial services, food and agriculture, manufacturing, telecommunications and technology, and other strategic sectors.