Saudi Arabia Sees 1st Budget Surplus Since 2013 as Oil Rises

Saudi Arabia boosted its revenue forecast for next year, with higher oil prices and production volumes poised to deliver the first budget surplus in eight years and the fastest economic growth since 2011, Bloomberg News reported. It’s a sharp turnaround after energy market turmoil and the pandemic combined to crater the kingdom’s nascent economic recovery from the last oil price rout. But it also underscored that despite years of efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify the Group of 20 economy -- including progress in new sectors like entertainment -- the fortunes of the world’s largest crude producer still rise and fall with the price of oil. To help mitigate that volatility, the kingdom is pushing ahead with plans to spend less. Excess government revenue will be “used as a buffer for the future,” Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said. Read more.