Freshly-released official Saudi figures show the kingdom’s deficit falling to just $13.1bn for the first three quarters of 2018, and just $2bn for each of Q2 and Q3. The nine-month deficit is down a whopping 60% from the $32.4bn deficit over the corresponding period of 2017.

Pro-rating the nine-month figure suggests that Saudi Arabia is on track to post a full year deficit of just $17.5bn, not only by far the lowest since oil prices headed south in late 2014, but actually level with 2014 as a whole – when oil prices averaged $97/B, some 37% above the $71.1/B average for January-September 2018. (CONTINUED - 823 WORDS)