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Thursday, 22 December 2016

Saudi Arabia's Economic Overhaul Bears Fruit as Deficit Narrows - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia's Economic Overhaul Bears Fruit as Deficit Narrows - Bloomberg:
"Saudi Arabia vision to wean itself off of oil is promising to show green shoots.

In the most detailed budget in its history, the kingdom outlined on Thursday a strategy to balance its books by 2020 by bolstering revenues from non-oil industries to 50 percent and containing growth in spending. The plans are a culmination of a year that saw the biggest overhaul Saudi history, as the world’s biggest oil exporter pledged to boost the role of private businesses and reduce some state safety nets.

Austerity measures including cutting fuel subsidies and lowering wages of public employees helped the kingdom narrow its budget deficit in 2016 to 297 billion riyals ($79 billion), below official forecasts, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on its website. Next year, the shortfall will drop another 33 percent to 198 billion riyals even as government spending increases by a projected 8 percent, to 890 billion riyals.
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