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Plunging oil prices could mean the first budget cuts for major exporter Saudi Arabia since 2002 but they are not expected to be large enough to stop growth in the Arab world's biggest economy.The government gets about 90 percent of its revenue from oil exports and is believed to need an average oil price above $90 to balance its budget this year.As recently as last month, the International Monetary Fund predicted Saudi Arabia would enjoy a fiscal surplus of 1.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2015; now, private economists are talking of a deficit of over 1 percent.The current year's budget plan envisages expenditure of 855 billion riyals ($227.8 billion), a mere 4.3 percent rise from the 2013 plan and the slowest increase in a decade.The government usually ends up spending substantially more than its budget plan, and overspent by an annual average of 25 percent from 2004-2013 . So the 2015 plan could quickly change if oil prices rebound.Government reserves at the central bank totaled 905 billion riyals at the end of October, enough to cover an annual budget deficit of 3 percent of GDP for about 10 years.
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