Economy Saudi Arabia posts budget surplus of $27.68bn in 2022 By Reuters March 10, 2023 Unsplash.com The world's top oil exporter recorded real GDP growth of 8.7% in 2022 Saudi Arabia recorded a budget surplus of SAR103.9 billion ($27.68 billion) in 2022, beating its own estimates, as higher oil prices boosted government revenues by 31 percent, according to finance ministry data. The world’s top oil exporter recorded real GDP growth of 8.7 percent in 2022 leading to the Gulf state’s first budget surplus in almost a decade. It had previously estimated a budget surplus of SAR102 billion, or about 2.6 percent of GDP, for 2022, but is projecting a narrower surplus for 2023. Saudi Arabia’s total revenues in 2022 hit nearly SAR1.27 trillion, up 31 percent over 2021, and slightly higher than estimated. Oil revenues in 2022 totalled about SAR857.3 billion, up 52 percent from the previous year. However, non-oil revenue picked up in the fourth quarter, rising 19 percent from the prior-year period, outperforming oil revenue which increased 17 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a report from the finance ministry. Total spending in 2022 rose 12 percent from the previous year to SAR1.16 trillion. The Gulf state recorded a fiscal surplus in the first three quarters of 2022, but reported a deficit of SAR45.7 billion in the fourth quarter, when Opec+ oil production cuts kicked in. Saudi Arabia’s total public debt stood at just over SAR990 billion at the end of 2022.