Saudi Arabia plans to pursue an expansionary fiscal policy in 2018 designed to revive its flagging economy which has been badly hit by the plunge in oil prices since mid-2014. 

Growth will be within a rounding error of zero this year, according to the latest IMF forecasts, despite a more than 20% rebound in oil prices.

The IMF in its latest Middle East regional economic outlook, released 31 October, reckons that the kingdom will need an unlikely jump in the oil price to $70/B in order...