Middle East

Saudi Arabia announces 2017 budget with more spending

Saudi Arabia has announced its 2017 budget, projecting an increase in spending and a lower budget deficit as the Saudi king acknowledges "very turbulent economic conditions."

The oil-rich kingdom said that its spending is expected to reach 890 billion riyals ($237 billion) with revenues of $184 billion. The budget deficit will reach 8 percent of GDP or 198 billion riyals ($52.7 billion) a decline compared to the 2016 deficit, which reached 297 billion riyals ($79 billion).

"Our economy is strong; we have enough strength to confront the economic challenges," King Salman said in front of the Cabinet on Thursday. The announcement, he said, comes amid "very turbulent economic conditions which many countries suffered from."

Last year, the kingdom cut back on spending due to sliding oil prices.