Government officials unveiled Saudi Arabia’s largest budgeted expenditure ever as the Kingdom looks to propel economic growth following two years of reduced spending.
Compared to previous years, the budget is expansionary. Saudi Arabia will spend SR88 billion ($23.5 billion) more in 2018 compared with 2017.
The announcement was made at a press conference at which Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, and SAMA Gov. Ahmed Al-Kholifey addressed the media.
The government said expenditure will reportedly come from three primary sources, with SR978 billion ($260.83 billion) from the central budget, SR50 billion ($13.3 billion) from funds such as the National Development Fund, along with capital and investment expenditure from the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
At the announcement, Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said the drawdown of the Saudi Arabian central bank’s net foreign assets is likely to slow next year and in years to come, Reuters reports.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that “improving the standard of living for Saudi citizens” is central to the efforts exerted by the Kingdom’s government to diversify the economy.
The budget includes a fiscal stimulus package that will span four years, as well as increased capital spending to boost the private sector.
Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment provides a breakdown of the budget’s expected expenditures and a quick analysis of the expansionary path for the Kingdom’s fiscal policy.