2004 News Story

Bank predicts increase in Kingdom’s public spending

The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has issued a report predicting that the Kingdom will increase its public spending by SR8 billion [U.S. $2.14 billion] annually over the next five years. There has been, the report observed, tremendous progress in the country's economic situation this year, largely due to the fact that crude oil prices have been averaging $34.5 per barrel over the past six months, and current oil prices are $14 higher than the prices estimated for the FY2004 budget. In addition, the Kingdom increased production by one million barrel a day above its OPEC quota. Oil revenues account for three-quarters of Saudi Arabia's total revenues. The report went on to say that by the end of 2004, the Saudi economy will have completed two years of strong growth with the presence of a private sector having greater capabilities and a banking system having good capitalization.