Saudi Arabia has been one of the best performing G-20 economies in recent years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says in its latest Article IV consultation with the kingdom. But while fiscal and external surpluses are up on the back of high oil prices and production, the IMF warns that fiscal breakeven oil prices have risen recently, owing to strong growth in public spending.

Saudi Arabia’s breakeven oil price for 2013, based on IMF projections, was recently estimated at $84/B for 2013, up from $78/B in 2012. This corresponds with a recent estimate by ratings agency Standard and Poor’s of $84.3/B for 2013 (MEES, 4 July). With fiscal consolidation this price is projected to ease to $82/B by 2019 (MEES, 11 July). (CONTINUED - 731 WORDS)