BUSINESS

Saudi Arabia posts $59.7B budget surplus in 2011, sees $3B surplus in 2012

12/26/2011 08:54 EST | Updated 02/25/2012 05:12 EST
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabian says the oil-rich kingdom posted a nearly US$60 billion budget surplus in 2011.

State television said Monday that the country is projecting a much smaller 12 billion riyal ($3 billion) budget surplus in the coming year, with revenues at 702 billion riyals and expenditures forecast at 690 billion riyals.

In 2011, the OPEC leader posted a surplus of 224 billion riyals ($59.7 billion) — a gain realized on the back on increased oil sales as it upped its output to offset declines from Libya.

King Abdullah announced a roughly $130 billion spending plan early in the year, benefiting lower income segments of the population. The move came as a wave of popular unrest swept through the Arab world.