Saudi Arabia said Wednesday it recorded its first annual budget surplus in nearly a decade, beating its own projections in a year of elevated oil prices.
The surplus for 2022 amounted to 102 billion Saudi riyals (USD27 billion), representing 2.6 percent of GDP, according to preliminary estimates, the finance ministry said.
That compared to a surplus of 90 billion Saudi riyals that had been projected for 2022 at the end of last year.
The world’s biggest crude exporter also preliminarily recorded GDP growth of 8.5 percent for the year, the finance ministry said, higher than the 7.6 percent predicted by the International Monetary Fund.
The budget approved for 2023 foresees a surplus of 16 billion Saudi riyals (USD4 billion) and GDP growth of 3.1 percent, the ministry said.
The strong data comes as much of the world grapples with widespread energy shocks and deepening worries about recession.