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Saudi Arabia projects USD 87 B deficit amid low oil prices

oilpricedown

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has announced a projected budget deficit in 2016 of USD 87 billion (327 billion riyals), as lower oil prices cut into the government’s main source of revenue.

The Saudi government has been digging into its large foreign reserves to cover the difference between its spending and revenue over the past year.

The government announced its budget today, projecting spending of USD 224 billion (840 billion riyals) in 2016 versus USD 137 billion (513 billion riyals) in revenue.

In remarks broadcast on Saudi Arabia’s state news channel today, King Salman reassured the public at a government meeting that the priority remains developing and investing in social programmes.

Benchmark US crude was trading today at USD 37.46 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.