Algeria notched up a $10.5bn deficit for 2018, the tenth in a row, though the lowest since oil prices crashed in the second half of 2014. But the numbers have taken a turn for the worse this year. And political instability presents a further downside risk.

Freshly released financial stats from the Bank of Algeria show the country’s deficit falling by 9% (13% in dollar terms) to a five-year low of $10.5bn for 2018.

The country – which appears to be entering a chronic period of...