Saudi Arabia posted its first budget surplus in five years over the first quarter of 2019. The kingdom’s latest financial data shows that it racked up a healthy $7.4bn surplus during 1Q 2019, against a massive $23.2bn deficit in 4Q 2019.

The healthier budget finances came largely thanks to a seasonal fall in spending, down from $84.8bn the previous quarter to $58bn. This was however, still up by around $5bn year-on-year. Saudi government spending typically rises through the year, and...