Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan adresses the Euromoney conference held in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 2, 2017. / AFP / FAYEZ NURELDINE
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Saudi Arabia is considering a more expansionary budget than planned for 2018, Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said, as authorities seek to support an economy struggling under the weight of austerity cutbacks.The biggest Arab economy contracted two quarters in a row this year after the kingdom cut its crude output to support prices. Jadaan said he doesn't see the government selling more international bonds in 2017, but local sales are likely.With oil prices down more than 50 percent since 2014, governments are looking for ways to save money.Jadaan, seeking to dispel rumors that employees have not received their payments, said the money was given back.The government is also saving "a significant amount" of money by not paying the annual raise that civil service employees are typically guaranteed, equal to roughly 3 percent of the wage bill each year, Jadaan said.
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