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24 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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IMF urges Saudi to contain spending as deficit widens

AFP

The International Monetary Fund has called on Saudi Arabia to keep public spending under control, even as a partial recovery of oil prices helps the economy emerge from recession, reports AFP from Dubai.

The lender called on the world’s top oil exporter to continue “bold structural changes” but to “resist the temptation to re-expand government spending in line with higher oil prices”, in a statement late on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on an ambitious reform drive, known as Vision 2030, as it seeks to reduce dependence on oil, diversify its income streams and modernise the economy.

But figures released by the finance ministry last week show spending soared 18 percent to $53.5 billion in the first quarter of this year, outstripping a 15 percent increase in revenues, which hit $44.3 billion.

This created a quarterly budget shortfall of $9.2 billion, up 31 percent on the first three months of 2017.

Despite the rising deficit, the IMF also congratulated the Kingdom for measures designed to boost non-oil revenues, in the wake of the 2014 crash in crude prices.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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