Algeria plans to cut spending in 2019 in a modest reversal of 2018, when a blowout budget was planned but in reality spending undershot. Algiers is no closer to ending a run of budget deficits stretching back to 2009; it would need an improbable $88/B to balance its 2019 finances with the budget anticipating a $17.4bn deficit.

Algeria has run up cumulative budget deficits of over $100bn since 2009, with deficits recorded even in 2011-14 when oil prices were over $100/B.

They have...