Saudi Arabia expects its run of budget deficits to extend until at least 2022, which would mark the ninth consecutive year in the red. If its numbers prove accurate, the cumulative deficit would amount to an eye-watering $457bn. Most of the damage has already been done, with the 2014-2018 deficit coming to $307bn, but it highlights the urgent need to reform the economy and diversify away from oil.

The kingdom projects to run a $34bn deficit in 2019, amounting to 4.7% of GDP. While this is much higher than the recently-released actual figure of $10bn for the first nine months of the year, recent years have seen Saudi Arabia record massive Q4 deficits. (CONTINUED - 789 WORDS)