A sharp drop in tax receipts squeezed Saudi Arabia’s budget surplus to a modest $3.8bn in Q3, less than a fifth of Q2’s bumper surplus. Even though oil revenues dipped slightly amid lower prices, oil’s share of government revenues rose above 75% as a result.

The budget surplus over the first nine months of the year stands at $39.9bn, well above the government’s full year projection of $24bn announced last month (MEES, 7 October). Given robust oil prices, there is a strong likelihood that that forecast figure will be beaten, even if the traditional Q4 spending spike pushes the budget into the red for this quarter. (CONTINUED - 570 WORDS)