Kuwait this week unveiled a budget for the financial year beginning 1 April. The figures appear to have little to do with reality.

An overly conservative oil price assumption coupled with an overly ambitious spending program combine to create a projected $21.5bn 2018-19 deficit. This would be a massive 91% increase on the $11bn MEES forecast for the current year’s deficit (see table).

The budget has an estimated oil price of just $50/B, despite Kuwait Export Blend currently averaging...