The country relied on both external and internal debt to finance its deficit, the report added. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s reported a deficit of SAR81 billion (Dh79b), with total revenues at SAR1.21 trillion (Dh1.1t) and total expenditures at SAR 1.29 trillion (Dh1.2t.), the government said in its budget report for 2023.

In an 11 per cent increase year-on-year, non-oil revenues in Saudi Arabia in 2023 was at SAR457.728 billion (Dh447b). While non-oil revenue in the last quarter of 2023 was lower than the same quarter in 2022, the goals of diversification set by the Kingdom in Vision 2030 are well on track, the report showed.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

Revenues from oil reached SAR754 billion in 2023, with a 28 per cent increase in the last quarter of the year.

How did Saudi Arabia finance its deficit?

The country relied on both external and internal debt to finance its deficit, the report added. 75 per cent was from external borrowing, which is around SAR60 billion (Dh58b), and it sourced SAR21 billion (Dh20b) from the local debt market.

The Kingdom’s public debt reached SAR1 trillion (Dh979b) at the end of 2023, up from SAR990 billion (Dh969b) the previous year, with internal debt at SAR644 billion (Dh630b) and external debt at around SAR 405 billion (Dh396b.)

Spending on health and social development increased by 13 per cent to SAR255.9 billion (Dh250b), while education spending rose by 4 per cent to SAR209 billion (Dh 204.)

Military expenditures increased by 12 per cent to SAR254 billion (Dh248b) by the end of 2023.

Saudi Arabia has a strong credit rating, maintaining an A+ rating with Fitch Rating Agency, reflecting the strength of the country’s budget and external financial position.

The Kingdom’s debt to GDP ratio and net sovereign foreign assets were also shown to be higher than the averages for both A and AA rating categories, allowing large financial safety margins in the form of deposits and other public sector assets.