Stock - Saudi economy / Riyadh skyline
A general view of Riyadh. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia recorded a budget surplus of 103.9 billion riyals ($27.68 billion) in 2022, beating its own estimates, as higher oil prices boosted government revenues by 31 per cent, according to finance ministry data.

The world's top oil exporter recorded real GDP growth of 8.7 per cent in 2022 leading to the Gulf state's first budget surplus in almost a decade.

It had previously estimated a budget surplus of 102 billion riyals, or about 2.6 per cent of GDP, for 2022, but is projecting a narrower surplus for 2023.

Saudi Arabia's total revenues in 2022 hit nearly 1.27 trillion riyals, up 31 per cent over 2021, and slightly higher than estimated. Oil revenues in 2022 totaled about 857.3 billion riyals, up 52 per cent from the previous year.

However, non-oil revenue picked up in the fourth quarter, rising 19 per cent from the prior-year period, outperforming oil revenue which increased 17 per cent in the fourth quarter, according to a report from the finance ministry.

Total spending in 2022 rose 12 per cent from the previous year to 1.16 trillion riyals.

The Gulf state recorded a fiscal surplus in the first three quarters of 2022, but reported a deficit of 45.7 billion riyals in the fourth quarter, when OPEC+ oil production cuts kicked in.

Saudi Arabia's total public debt stood at just over 990 billion riyals at the end of 2022.

The ministry also announced that it was the first time GDP reached, at the current prices, at levels of more than $1 trillion, supported by positive growth rates across all economic activities. Contribution of crude oil and natural gas activities reached 32.7 per cent, followed by government services activities at 14.2 per cent, manufacturing activities except oil refining at 8.6 per cent and wholesale and retail trade activities, restaurants and hotels at 8.2 per cent.

Industrial production index

Industrial Production Index (IPI) increased 6.8 per cent in January 2023 compared to the same period last year. This increase mainly originated from the increase in mining, quarrying and manufacturing activity.

The mining and quarrying activity index increased by 3 per cent in January 2023. Manufacturing activity increased by 19.2 per cent, while electricity and gas supply decreased by 3.4 per cent.

With inputs from Reuters and Saudi Press Agency