March 20, 2020 / 2:24 PM / 21 days ago

Saudi 2020 budget deficit could reach 9%/GDP amid coronavirus, oil price drop

RIYADH, March 20 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit this year could expand to up to 9% of gross domestic product, from around 6.4% previously forecast, due to plummeting oil prices and the impact from the coronavirus outbreak, the kingdom’s finance minister said on Friday.

Mohammed al-Jadaan said in a news conference broadcast on state television that the government has a contingency plan and flexibility through a mixture of spending cuts, borrowing and tapping reserves. (Reporting by Marwa Rashad, Maher Chmaytelli, Davide Barbuscia and Stephen Kalin; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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