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Saudi reduces Q1 deficit by more than half

Saudi reduces Q1 deficit by more than half

The kingdom has forecast a SAR198bn deficit this year

Saudi Arabia posted a significantly smaller budget deficit in the first quarter than projected, according to reports.

Muhammad Al-Tuwaijri, deputy minister of economy and planning told state-run Ekhbariya TV that the deficit for the first three months of the year was SAR26bn ($6.9bn) from a projected SAR54bn ($14.39bn).

This followed a sizeable deficit reduction last year from SAR367bn in 2015 to SAR297bn ($79bn) in 2016.

Read: Saudi Arabia cuts 2016 budget deficit, to boost 2017 spending

The kingdom has forecast a SAR198bn deficit this year.

“The trade deficit is expected to drop this year and possibly to record as a surplus due mainly to the decline in imports and the rising value of exports,” Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority governor Ahmed Al-Kholifey also told the broadcaster.

On saturday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman made a rare reversal in cuts to financial allowances for civil servants amid signs of improving economic conditions in the kingdom.

Read: Restored Saudi public sector perks may avert recession

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