The International Monetary Fund projected Saudi Arabia’s fiscal deficit to increase this year and no decline is expected over the medium term.

Concluding the Article IV Mission, IMF staff said the fiscal deficit will rise to 7 percent of gross domestic product in 2019 after narrowing to 5.9 percent in 2018.

IMF observed that the successful introduction of the value-added tax has underpinned an increase in non-oil fiscal revenues.

“No decline in the overall fiscal deficit from this year’s projected level is expected over the medium-term based on current policies and the oil price path currently embedded in financial markets,” the statement said.

The non-exported oil primary deficit is expected to decline to 29.4 percent of non-oil GDP in 2024 as announced fiscal measures are implemented.

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