On December 19th the Government announced an expansionary fiscal budget for 2018, it plans for the largest ever budgeted expenditure of SR 978 billion, compared to SR 890 billion in 2017. Its priorities remain consistent with defence & security, education, healthcare and economic resources making up 77% of allocations.
Non-oil revenue is planned to reach SR 291 billion in 2018, showing a growth of 37%. Rises in non-oil revenue will come from a number of areas, including increased expat dependant fees and expat levies, the introduction of VAT and improvements in the investment income due to PIFs more active approach in managing sovereign wealth.
GDP growth is estimated to reach 2.7% in 2018, following -0.5% negative growth in 2017. Over coming years the debt to GDP ratio will not be allowed to exceed 25%.