Saudi Arabia Looks at ‘Painful’ Measures, Deep Spending Cuts
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Saudi Arabia will need to take “painful” measures and look for deep spending cuts as the kingdom faces a double crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the meltdown in global oil markets, its finance minister said on Saturday.
“The kingdom hasn’t witnessed a crisis of this severity over the past decades,” Mohammed Al-Jadaan said in an interview with Saudi television station Al-Arabiya. “It’s very important that we take very tough and strong measures, and they might be painful, but they’re necessary.”
Already under a strict curfew to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s largest oil exporter is bracing for a second impact from the oil price rout and production cuts negotiated by OPEC and its allies. The price of Brent crude crashed by more than 50% in March, contributing to a record $27 billion monthly drop in the Saudi central bank’s net foreign assets.
State oil revenue has decreased by more than half, and non-oil revenue will decrease as well, he said.
34,037 in U.S.Most new cases today
-17% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-1.121 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-0.5% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), March