Saudi Arabia is expected to overshoot projected spending in 2023 as the world’s dominant oil exporter is buoyed by high crude prices to lavish more on projects, according to a Saudi investment management firm.

In a report sent to Zawya Projects on Tuesday, Riyadh-based Jadwa Investments forecast actual expenditure by the Gulf Kingdom to total around 1,207 billion Saudi riyals ($321.8 billion) in 2023 as against SAR1,114 billion ($296 billion) projected by the government in its budget statement in late 2022.

The report forecast actual revenue, mostly from oil sales, to total SAR1,164 billion ($310.4 billion), slightly higher than the projected SAR1,130 billion ($301.3 billion).

It showed the 2023 budget would record an actual deficit of around SAR43 billion ($11,46 billion) against a forecast surplus of SAR16 billion ($4.26 billion).

The report did not mention reasons for the higher spending, but official statistics released recently showed Riyadh largely boosted capital expenditure on projects and other fields in the first half of the year.

The data showed capital spending surged by nearly 18 percent in the first half of 2023 above projections and almost 67 percent over the same period of 2022.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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