Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Saudi 2023 budget deficit at $22bn as oil revenue dips

Workers at an Aramco facility. Saipem had annual average orders of $1.6bn from Aramco between 2021 and 2023 Aramco
Workers at an Aramco facility. Opec+ will meet on April 3 to review the members' implementation of output cuts

Saudi Arabia recorded a budget deficit of SAR81 billion ($21.6 billion) in 2023 in line with expectations, as expenditure increased against a backdrop of falling oil revenue, the finance ministry said on 15 February.

Total expenditure increased by 11 percent annually to SAR1.3 trillion last year, as revenues reached SAR1.2 trillion, according to data released by the finance ministry.

Oil revenues fell 12 percent year-on-year to SAR755 billion as the kingdom reduced oil output in an effort to sustain prices in a weak global market.

Non-oil revenues rose 11 percent year on year to SAR458 billion, accounting for 40 percent of the total last year.

This week’s announcement is in line with the kingdom’s December 2023 budget statement, where the government expected expenditure and revenues to be SAR1.3 trillion and SAR1.2 trillion, respectively, with the deficit estimated at SAR82 billion.

The government has forecast a deficit of SAR79 billion in 2024.

The government’s General Authority for Statistics has said economic growth declined by just under 1 percent in 2023, and the International Monetary Fund last week lowered its 2024 forecast for GDP in Saudi Arabia to 2.7 percent, down from 4 percent forecast last October.

Last year’s slowdown followed a surplus of $30 billion in 2022, the first in almost a decade after crude prices surged as the world emerged from the pandemic.

The finance ministry statement said oil revenue rose 28 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023, driving total revenue higher by 13 percent to SAR358 billion. Expenditure also increased 9 percent over the year to SAR395 billion.

Total public debt was at around SAR1 trillion at the end of 2023, the ministry said.

Latest articles


Dubai launches one-stop hub to streamline government services

People in Dubai can now obtain an Emirates ID, register a company, open a bank account and more under one roof following the opening of the Emirates Government Services Hub (EGSH). Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, a member of the Dubai Royal family, EGSH allows clients to access all essential […]

In association with
Thailand's consul general Kitinai Nutakul visits the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jeddah

Thailand opens investment office in Saudi Arabia

Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) is opening its first Middle East office in Saudi Arabia, signaling a deepening of economic ties between the nations after a longstanding diplomatic spat. The office will focus on attracting Saudi investment into Thailand’s targeted industries and supporting Thai entrepreneurs looking to invest in the region, the BOI said in […]

hajj saudi arabia

Saudia reports big rise in international passengers

Saudi Arabia’s national carrier Saudia reported a 24 percent increase in international passengers to 9.1 million in the first half of 2024. There was also a 13 percent rise in the number of flights. The Hajj pilgrimage in June played a large part in the growth.  The number of passengers flying on domestic routes rose […]

renewables target dam

World is off track to meet Cop28 renewables goal

The world is far from reaching its 2030 renewables target, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) said on Thursday. Countries committed at the Cop28 summit in Dubai last year to treble renewables capacity in order to limit global warming to 1.5C. To stay on course global capacity growth needs to accelerate to a minimum rate […]