Saudi 2014 budget to grow, records 2013 surplus

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudi Arabia's Finance Ministry has announced the largest annual budget ever to be adopted by the kingdom, projecting spending and revenue at 855 billion riyals each, or $228 billion for 2014.

The ministry also recorded a 2013 budget surplus. Revenues were projected at 829 billion riyals and expenditures at 820 billion riyals. The Finance Ministry said Monday both exceeded initial projections, with revenues at 1.131 trillion riyals and spending at 925 billion riyals.

The government's projected revenues are often smaller than what actually comes in, since Saudi officials have calculated oil prices at $70 a barrel, while the price of Brent crude is now at around $111 per barrel.

This year's budget increases education spending from $54.3 billion to $56 billion. Another $28.8 billion has been allocated for health and social services.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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