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Saudi Arabia plans to increase spending next year more than initially forecast as authorities take advantage of higher oil prices to spur economic growth and lower unemployment. Public spending is expected to reach 1.106 trillion riyals ($295 billion) in 2019, 100 billion riyals more than the government had projected last year, Finance Minister Mohammad al-Jadaan said Sunday.The government expects gross domestic product to expand 2.1 percent this year after contracting 0.9 percent in 2017 .To reduce unemployment among Saudis, the kingdom's non-oil economy needs to expand between 3 and 4 percent a year, he said.Jadaan said authorities expect "healthy growth" in both oil and non-oil industries. He said the government remains committed to supporting private businesses.
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