Saudi Arabia’s Budget Deficit Shrinks a Whopping 60%

Saudi Arabia reduced its budget deficit by 60 percent to SR49 billion ($13 billion) in the first nine months of the year, official figures published Wednesday show.

The reduction — greater than anticipated in earlier budget forecasts — was the result of a significant growth in both oil and non-oil revenues, the Ministry of Finance said, according to Arab News.

According to data from the Ministry of Finance, oil revenues rose 47 percent year-on-year to $120.6 billion while non-oil income jumped 48 percent to $56.3 billion.

Saudi Arabia has posted a budget deficit every year since oil prices crashed in 2014.

The rise in non-oil income is significant after Riyadh has increased the prices of fuel and power and imposed a five-percent value-added tax (VAT) in addition to fees on around 11 million expatriates in the country, according to Arabian Business.

This reflects “the effectiveness of economic reforms and fiscal measures targeting fiscal sustainability as well as the effective management of public finances,” the ministry said in its third-quarter budget report.