Saudi Arabia: 2006 revenues 29.7% lower than 2005
Saudi Arabia's 2006 National Budget projected the revenues at SR390bn and expenditure at SR335bn resulting in the surplus of SR55bn. The revenues are 29.7% lower than the year 2005 actual figures of SR555bn. It is to be noted that the budgeted revenues of 2004 were also lower by 28% than the actual revenues reported in 2004 indicating the conservative estimates maintained by the government while preparing the budgets. However, the official projections of the oil and non-oil revenues are not released.
The 2006 budget projects expenditure at SR335bn, a decrease of SR6bn in expenditure from last year’s actual expenditure of SR341bn. Capital expenditure is estimated to account for SR126bn (37.6% of the total) while the current expenditure would account for the remaining SR209bn (62.4% of the total).
During the fiscal year 2005, Saudi Arabia originally had expected a balanced budget with both revenues and expenditure amounting to SR280bn. However, this was based on the conservative estimates with price assumptions and the estimates turned out to be far below actual levels as the Saudi Arabian Light Oil averaged US$49.9/barrel, far higher than the estimated value of US$25/barrel taken in 2005 budget. Also the production levels averaged 9.5mn bpd in 2005 which added to the resultant increase in the actual figures. (Global)
Both the revenues and expenditure recorded a steep increase from the 2005 budgeted numbers with the revenues exceeding by 98.2% over the 2005 budgeted revenues and the expenses exceeding by 22.8% over the expenditure estimated in 2005 budget. With revenues outpacing the expenditure the deficit as projected in 2005 budget was turned to a whopping surplus of SR214bn. It has been indicated that part of the surplus will be allocated to reduce the outstanding public debt and a substantial chunk will be used on the development projects.