Saudi Arabia’s budget for 2014 will amount to SR855 billion (approximately USD 228 billion) in 2014, an increase of 4.3% over this year’s budget, and the highest ever in the Kingdom’s history. However commentators have described the increase as modest, compared to expenditure growth in recent years.
The budget figures just announced show that spending and revenue are projected to total SR855 billion riyals ($228 billion) next year. Financial commentators say that the 2014 budget suggests Riyadh is starting to rein in fiscal policy after massive expansion in recent years. Next year’s 4.3 percent rise in planned spending is far smaller than the 19 percent leap envisaged by the 2013 budget plan.
Saudi state television channel al Akhbariya, reporting the announcement of the budget also stated that the Kingdom was using a windfall from oil revenues to repay its public debt, which has dropped to SR 75.1 billion, or 2.7 per cent of its gross domestic product.
The International Monetary Fund expects that the Saudi economy, the largest in the Arab world, will grow by 3.6 per cent and 4.4 per cent in 2013 and 2014 respectively, after expanding by 5.1 per cent last year.