Regional

S.Arabia posts second-quarter deficit of 4.6 billion riyals

FILE PHOTO: General view in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, June 21 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri/File Photo/File Photo

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia said on Monday it posted a deficit of 4.6 billion riyals ($1.23 billion) in the second quarter, a huge drop from 109.2 billion riyals reported in the same quarter a year ago amidst a crash in oil prices.

The kingdom, the Arab world's largest economy and the world's top oil exporter, realised revenues of 248 billion riyals, with oil income rising 38% year-on-year to 132.15 billion in the second quarter.

Non-oil revenues climbed to 115.96 billion riyals from 38.23 billion riyals a year earlier.

Saudi Arabia's economy grew in the second quarter for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began 18 months ago, fuelled by a 10.1% growth in the non-oil sector, according to government data.

A Finance Ministry report said public expenditure in the second quarter amounted to 252.7 billion riyals, up 4% from the same quarter last year.

The kingdom had last year introduced measures such as tripling of a value-added tax and removal of a cost of living allowance to replenish state coffers depleted by the historic slide in crude prices and as the pandemic damaged non-oil revenues.

This along with consolidation measures had allowed the government to reduce the budget in the first quarter of 2021.

The budget deficit had ballooned to over 11% of gross domestic product last year, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. The IMF expects Saudi Arabia to bring down its fiscal deficit to 4.2% of GDP this year.

 

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