RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s budget spending amounted to around SR212.2 billion while revenues accounted for SR204.76 billion during the first quarter of 2021, registering a slight deficit of SR7.44 billion. The Kingdom’s deficit in the first quarter was fully financed through borrowing.
According to the latest report of the Ministry of Finance, non-oil revenues jumped by 39 percent to SR88.19 billion during the first quarter while compared to SR63.3 billion in the same quarter of 2020. At the same time, oil revenues accounted for 56.93 percent of total revenues, while non-oil revenues amounted to 43.07 percent.
The report showed that tax revenues on goods and services recorded a remarkable increase, reaching 75 percent with total taxes of SR53.67 billion, while compared to SR30.6 billion last year.
As for the budget deficit amounting to SR7.44 billion in the first quarter of this year, the ministry revealed that the total funding for the deficit amounted to SR29.55 billion, of which SR6.13 billion were financing from internal debt, and SR23.42 billion were financing from external debt.
The remaining amount was from the total financing that was not used to finance the deficit for the first quarter, but rather it will be used to pay the budget deficit for the remainder of the year.
The report noted that the municipal services sector is relatively the least disbursed of the total sums allocated to it in the first quarter of 2021, and the proportion of expenditures is 14 percent (SR6.87 billion) out of the total budget amounting to SR50.8 billion for the whole year.
The military sector is considered to be relatively the highest disbursed out of the total budget allocated to it in a year, by spending 25 percent of its approved budget, and expenditures amounted to SR43.53 billion out of SR175.1 billion approved for the whole year.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Saudi Arabia of 2.1 percent this year and 4.8 percent next year, compared to a previous estimate of the fund at 4 percent.
IMF said in a statement on Monday that the expected growth of Saudi non-oil GDP will reach 3.9 percent in 2021 and 3.6 percent in 2022. The IMF stated that real GDP will shrink 0.5 percent in 2021 in light of the levels of oil production agreed upon in the framework of OPEC +.
The fiscal deficit is expected to drop to 4.2 percent of GDP this year, which is slightly lower than expected in the budget.
Copyright: Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Published: May 5, 2021 / 23, Ramadan, 1442