Highest Spending Budget Recorded in 2018 As Vision 2030 Vitalizes Saudi Economy

Highest Spending Budget Recorded in 2018 As Vision 2030 Vitalizes Saudi Economy

Sunday, 23 September, 2018 - 09:45
Buildings are seen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 18, 2017. Picture taken December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
Riyadh- Shujaa al-Bogmi
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 has pushed the national economy to employ its strengths by creating new opportunities that will diversify economic wealth and stimulate investment. The ambitious vision is positively reshaping the economy through a package of qualitative measures.

Saudi Arabia - one of the 20 most powerful economies in the world - has played an important role in energy markets over the past years. The Kingdom is among the top countries that achieve balance in providing oil,
which has helped stimulate the global economy towards more production and manufacturing processes.

As the Saudis celebrate the 88th anniversary of the national day, the Saudi economy has recorded in 2018 the highest spending budget in the country’s history exceeding one trillion riyals ($266.6 billion).

With regards to the Saudi budget for 2018, the financial performance indicators of the general budget for Saudi Arabia for the first half of the current year showed that the total revenue amounted to about SAR439.8 billion ($117.2 billion), an increase of 43% compared to the same period last year.

According to available figures, total expenditure for the first half of 2018 amounted to SAR481.5 billion ($128.4 billion), an increase of 26 percent, while the actual disbursement rate at the end of the first half was about 49 percent of the total estimated budget during the year. Socio-economic sectors such as education, health, social development, and municipal services accounted for 42 percent of total expenditure in the first half of 2018.

These figures came as the Saudi economy, the biggest in the Middle East, achieved positive growth in the first quarter of 2018, which was translated into effective economic reforms that diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil.

Statistics showed that Saudi gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.2 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2018 to reach SAR647.8 billion ($172.7 billion), compared to SAR640.4 billion ($170.7 billion) during the same period last year.

In a move that will increase the non-oil sector contribution to GDP and add value to the national economy, the Saudi cabinet decided in July to turn the non-oil revenue development unit into a full-fledged center called the Non-Oil Revenue Development Center.

As for the financial markets, MSCI International Equity Index announced the inclusion of the MSCI Saudi Arabia Index in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which will sharply expand the Kingdom’s investor base, in a move that confirms the efficiency of the Saudi financial market.

Saudi Arabia is today one of the world’s most successful countries to attract world-class investments. The Kingdom enjoys the confidence of many investors, who consider the Saudi economy one of the world’s most dynamic and vital economies that overcome market volatility.

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