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Saudi Arabia: Riyadh’s foot off austerity pedal

Riyadh unveiled a new stream of handouts to its citizens in January, in the wake of a budget which already appeared to ease off on austerity. The budget unveiled on 19 December included a 5.6% rise in spending to SR978bn ($260.8bn), alongside a 12.6% increase in revenues to SR783bn, leaving a deficit of SR195bn. At the same time the government decided to delay its target of balancing its budget from 2019 to 2023.

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