Saudi Revenue Seen at $295 Billion a Year by Samba Financial

Saudi Arabia will collect $295 billion a year in government revenue from 2012 to 2016 as the Arab world’s biggest economy benefits from high oil prices, Samba Financial Group said.

Hydrocarbon earnings are expected to be $265 billion a year in the same period, Riyadh-based Samba said in an e-mailed report today. Real gross domestic product growth will average 5 percent for the period, while inflation will be stable at an average of 5.5 percent, it said.

“Under our oil price and production assumptions we expect that the government will have plenty of money to spend during the forecast period,” the bank said. “Government spending will remain the engine of economic growth.”

Saudi Arabia boosted spending last year as it sought to avert the political unrest that spread through other Arab countries. The government spent 804 billion riyals ($214 billion) and collected 1.11 trillion riyals of revenue, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Economy Minister Muhammad al-Jasser said in May he hoped the kingdom’s real gross domestic product growth will be at about 6 percent this year. The International Monetary Fund forecast in April that economic growth will slow to 6 percent from 6.8 percent last year.

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