December 25, 2014 / 9:52 AM / 3 years ago

Saudi plans to raise spending 0.6 pct in 2015 budget, run deficit

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DUBAI, Dec 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia plans to raise government spending by 0.6 percent to a record high next year while covering a large budget deficit due to plunging oil prices with its huge fiscal reserves, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.

Spending in the kingdom's 2015 state budget is projected at 860 billion riyals ($229 billion), up from 855 billion in the 2014 budget plan - the smallest increase in more than a decade.

Projected 2015 revenues would drop to 715 billion riyals from 855 billion in the 2014 plan, leaving a deficit of 145 billion.

Saudi Arabia will continue spending actively on economic development projects, social welfare and security despite the oil price slide and challenging conditions in the global economy, the ministry said. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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