Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, announced here yesterday the Quarterly Budget Performance Report for the third quarter in the fiscal year 1438/1439H (2017) revealing figures on the developments in the performance of the state's budget for this quarter represented more progress in revenues, improvement of general spending efficiency, and a decrease in fiscal deficit, while maintaining the level of basic services being provided to citizens in the priorities of government spending.
The Q3 report affirmed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's commitment of transparency and financial disclosure, as key factors which are consistent with the Kingdom Vision 2030 and its objectives. The report highlights the progress in achieving the defined objectives within the Financial Balance Program.
The report's results showed an increase in revenues comparing with the 3rd quarter in 2016 in addition to rising rates of non-oil revenues with (%80) during the same period. The report highlighted that the Kingdom's government seeks to rationalize spending in order to benefit of its citizens positively. The biggest portion of the government spending was directed to the education sector in the first nine months in 2017. The recent figures of the budget disclosed that the Kingdom is still in the right track in order to reach its long-scale goals with achieving balanced financial performance.
The financial indicators for the performance of the general budget of the state for the third quarter of the fiscal year 1438/1439H (2017) are as follows:
- Total revenues for the third quarter amounted to SR 142.1 billion, an increase of 11% compared to the same period last year. The non-oil revenues amounted to SR47,8 billion, an increase of 80% to the same period. These figures confirmed the feasibility of economic reforms.
- Total expenditures for the third quarter amounted to SR 375,8 billion, an increase of 5% compared to the same period last year.
- The deficit in the third quarter amounted to SR 48,7 billion.
In a related context, the indicators for the performance of the state's budget for the nine months in 2017 were as follows:
- The revenues in the first nine months SR450,1 billion, an increase of 23% compared to the same period.
- The expenditures in the first nine months SR571,6 billion, a minor increase of %0.4 compared to the same period. These expenditures represented %64 of the annual total spending.
- Social sectors such as education, health, social development and municipal services accounted for 44% of the third quarter budget expenditures, giving priority to whatever is of interest for citizens.
- In this period, the deficit amounted to SR121,5 billion, a decrease of %40 compared to the same period.
In light of these figures, the Minister of Finance asserted that these figures of budget performance reflect our continued progress towards long-term objectives of economic reform plans, ensuring balanced financial performance and keeping in the right track of the budget forecast for 2017.
"Despite of the current economic challenges, the economic reforms and procedures, included in the Financial Balance Program within the Kingdom Vision 2030, proved its efficiency. They contributed to more non-oil revenues. We are making progress in building a stronger and more diversified economy," Al-Jadaan said.
"We are very pleased with the optimism of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, both in terms of its expectations for medium-term growth, which indicates a great confidence in our approach, or with regard to our long-term financial and economic prospects, and interest of major international investors of the Kingdom. We have again benefited from the international bond markets reflecting the growing confidence in the Kingdom's economy and the strong fundamentals of this economy. Investors' keenness was reflected at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) organized recently by the Public Investment Fund in Riyadh," he added.
The Minister of Finance concluded that announcement of the Q3 budget performance report confirmed our long-term commitment in transparency and financial disclosure.